Slow coach, dolly daydream, head-in-the-clouds, late again, living in the slow lane - do you recognise any of these labels?
I grew up a dreamy child: I’d freak myself out daydreaming about what I might be like if I was a planet - would I still know it was me? I’d lie and watch dust motes in sunbeams. I’d notice the colour of someone’s socks more than perhaps what they said to me. I’d spend hours making mud pies, potions, art projects.
And then at school I would be late and I started to feel like I was always behind. Not quite enough, not quite keeping up. Like I was always missing out or letting people down.
And I now I take my little girl to school and worry that we will be late and I wonder, what am I doing to her precious daydreams?
Daydreamers dare to exist in the world in a different way to the cultural pressures of constant productivity. We see strange connections and notice small moments. And we feel at home in the more-than-human world where time slows and folds over and spirals and washes over us.
I am now starting to allow my dreamy inner child to play again. And I am realising how much the pressure of not being late has stopped me from flowing. Like a nag at the back of my head that just as I begin to lose my sense of time and become present, jerks me back into planning for the future or worrying about the past. What I did do, what I didn’t do, what I still need to do, do, do.
I haven’t quite cracked it. But I am beginning to allow myself to drift. I lie on the sofa after lunch and look at the clouds outside the window or allow the sun to warm my face. I spend time looking for mushrooms to paint and watching birds breathe. And in the process I feel myself expand.
So this is a love letter to all my fellow slow coaches and dreamers:
a love letter to all the dreamers
Slow coach, dolly daydream, head-in-the-clouds; to all of you who, like me, live in the slow lane - I see you.
To those of you whose ideas tumble forth in a matter of seconds, and yet for whom it takes weeks to bring them into being - I see you.
To those of you who find bringing forth opinion after opinion too fast and yet know what you believe deep in your body in a way that feels entangled and messy and hard to articulate - I see you.
To those of you who love to learn and absorb ideas and ways of being and find them composting in your body for weeks on end before a new shoot emerges and you realise that the way you're thinking and existing in the world right now is different to how you thought and existed a few months ago - I see you.
To those of you for whom the pace of the news cycle, sometimes the pace of everyday life, feels too much, loud, hurried, pressured -
Let me take you by the hand and together we shall go for a rambling walk surrounded by trees that live on a longer time scale than us, treading on earth that has been recycled for millennia.
Let us build root systems together and begin to create ways of being for ourselves that reject the short-termism and constant pressure to be 'productive'.
Let us imagine a new way of living life on this beautiful, messy planet.
To all of you fellow slow folk, I see you – you belong and are needed.
If you're looking to embrace your slow ways you may enjoy my online seasonal nature workshops, printable nature guides that you can take with you outside and the digital winter stargazing adventure pack containing all you need to take yourself on a journey into the night sky from the comfort of your home or garden.