I just turned 60 last week. By any measure, a milestone. Several friends and relatives didn’t make it this far. My 40th high school reunion included time for memorials, my brother died at 55. May is the month of Memorial Day. The thought of passing out of this life has become more personal lately.
Many people I know, and me included, live their lives in Drive. At 100 miles per hour we boast. May is also the month for racing. Presumably we’re all heading somewhere better than where we are. Moving away from here (which is somehow not good enough) and going there, which is full of promise. The expressions: ”He’s going places,” “He’ll go far,” and “She’ll get somewhere someday” have an almost magical attractive sound to them. Like here is nowhere you’d want to be.
So just for today, just for this Rotary Club meeting, I’d like you to find another gear to be in: Park. Sit a spell. Cool your jets. Smell the roses. These too are old sayings with equally valid advice, that from my more mature perspective, sound just as magical to me now. I actually remember Parking as a teenager quite fondly.
It is far safer to enjoy the scenery when you are in Park. It is far easier to talk and listen and think when you aren’t running. You can’t put more gas in the car unless you stop every once in a while.
My hope for you today and every day is that for all the time you spend in Drive you reserve some time for Park. Or, as the lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘59th Street Bridge Song’ advise:
Slow down, you move too fast.
You got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobble stones.
Looking for fun and feelin' groovy.