Giving pause

shade tree

Yesterday evening, Gerald and I went for one of our ridiculously long walks. We have this nice concreted walkway behind our house. Since it’s still a fairly new area commodity, most of the trees along the path are young little things and so they offer zero shade for those of us crazy enough to exercise in such heat. Even though the worst of the day’s heat is starting to wane by the evening time, you can still feel the mid-July brutality.

Along the trail, however, is the occasional respite of shade, offered up by some older trees that happened to have been there long before the county built the walkway. It’s the moment of time when I walk under these more mature trees that I could go for a nice long pause. Oh yeah, that’s nice. Let’s just stop here for a second. It’s so much cooler here, and I don’t have to squint my eyes because of the sun’s bright rays. But alas, we don’t hesitate, no stopping allowed. Back into the heat we go.

In that shady split second, I thought of another time in my life where I’ve wanted to take a pause from uncomfortable circumstances. I remember on long car trips with my parents and sister, sometimes we would have to drive through really nasty weather. Sheets and sheets of rain would splash across the windshield and the sound of raindrops hitting the car was scary loud. I trusted my dad to navigate us safely through the storm, of course, but I’d still be on edge and crazy nervous. I would be so anxious for it to finally be over. We would drive under the occasional highway overpass, and there we’d get the ever so slightest break from the storm. It was quiet and dry. I remember thinking how nice it would be if the whole entire highway could be covered by a big giant overpass so you’d never have to drive through such hazardous conditions. Or, it would be nice if we could at least stay under the overpass just a little bit longer, just long enough for the bad weather to pass. But our small break from the rain would be gone just as quickly as it had appeared. Back into the unforgiving thunderstorms we went.

While reflecting on this idea of “pause,” I realized how impractical it would be to try to prolong some of these small moments of relief. If I took the pause I wanted under the shade trees while out walking, then it would take longer to get back to the house. And when we’re out walking “the long walk,” the less time it takes, the better! And if my parents had decided to wait out every storm by tucking under an overpass, then we would be delayed from getting pretty much anywhere we were trying to get. So… sometimes you just have to persevere. Sometimes you gotta get through the unpleasant moments to accomplish your goal, to get to your final destination.

–kd


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10 thoughts on “Giving pause”

  1. We need the unshaded spots or we’d never appreciate the pauses. This reminds me, though, of a very early memory of a road trip to Florida. We were nearly there when we drove through a massive storm, but I remember seeing the edge of the dark, low clouds. I could see sun beyond the storm. It was the exact opposite of a pleasant pause–it was necessary to push through to get to the sun. The worst part was purely momentary.

    1. Thank you, Christopher. I had a difficult time getting all my different thoughts to come together for this post. (That would explain the rather abrupt ending) I appreciate your input. 🙂

  2. Oh man, I remember road trips and driving through storms as a kid. I guess since we didn’t have 24/7 access to weather information like we do now, our folks just set off whenever they wanted and hoped for the best. One time I was 4 or 5 and we got stuck in a huge hail storm and we had to pull to the side of the highway. I crouched down on the floor of the car and my mom covered me with a blanket or coat or something. The hail cracked our windshield to pieces. I remember my Mom’s voice sounding scared which made me feel scared too. Nowadays, I wouldn’t get out on a road trip if I knew there was a risk of really bad weather. It’s like, we’ll either be really late or we won’t go at all.

    1. Oh wow, I’ve never been through anything quite like that. Yeah and as a parent you try to keep your cool but it’s hard when you’re totally freaking out on the inside.

  3. I also remember a ride in our 70’s station wagon–rear seat–facing backwards. We were on the highway and a storm was catching up to us. I could see the rain advancingon the road. I shouted ‘dad, speed up its gonna get us!’. Everyone turned to look, and that’s when it whooshed over and ahead of us.
    And. Sometimes a pause is helpful. I quit my high-paying/high-stress job 14 months ago. My nerves and perspective on life have never been better.

    1. So many different types of life ‘pauses’ revealed while I was drafting this post and shared in the comments. Love it. 🙂

  4. This was nice thoughtful post and one with a worthwhile message at the end (although I must be honest and say that perseverance is something I’ve never been able to stick to for very long).

    The part about shade trees made me smile, though. Where I live, it gets very hot at this time of the year, but try escaping under a tree and the local mosquitoes will have you for dinner. Your choices are basically to be burnt to a cinder or be drained of all fluid.

    1. Ahh choices choices. 🙂 Mosquitoes can get bad here too but usually only at a particular window of sunrise/sunset. I haven’t figured out that precise window though so there have been times when I got bit up real good. Hate the mosquitoes! They’re only good as bat food. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

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