Take Your Time. The mantra that was drilled into me. Whether I be nipping to the shop, taking the dog a walk, popping the kettle on, heading to school, picking up a parcel or going to mow the lawn. The last few words I’d hear as I exited the room would be the old faithful. Take Your Time. To the point that we laughed, cracked jokes and tried to speak it before he would.
A five-minute job became a ten and a thirty minute stroll became a sixty. Instead of dashing down pavements with lead in hand as the dog raced to the traffic lights, we weaved a snake like path in the cracked concrete and took the time to inspect the blooming white hydrangeas and spot the butterflies as they peaked and troughed all around. Instead of sprinting to the checkout we wandered, meandering the aisles picking out flavoursome fruit and delicious delicacies, usually ending in a trolley full of desserts and biscuits to dip into our endless stream of tea. No two food shopping sessions turned out the same as our idleness managed to champion new items for the trolley and our cupboards.
It’s not that the words lost meaning, they were stitched into our subconscious so that when we were driving we’d know to slow down, or we wouldn’t hurry in burning the tea bags after the kettle had whistled. We did as we were told. We took our time.
Yet at times, it was frustrating. Maybe we were late and about to the miss the train but he would not pass thirty miles an hour or go pass third gear. Maybe we were wasting the precious sunlight in the Winter and instead of walking the Peaks, we were still at home prepping the flask to ensure optimum tea brewing colour. Maybe we wanted to watch a cheeky film that was above our age and we waited endlessly that despite yawn after yawn they would not budge and allow us the privacy of the living space. Maybe there are some times in life when it feels hard, it feels difficult and it feels pained that the last thing we want to do is drag our heels and instead want to rush through at ample speed on to the next positive experience.
But taking our time isn’t just designed to observe our surroundings and to be safe in a world that is revved far and beyond a safe speed limit. Taking our time doesn’t just help protect us from the impatience and give us a new meaning to watching the world go by. It teaches us a lesson that nothing can be rushed. Even during the worst pain, the horrific grief and the endless sleepless nights, this upheaval cannot be rushed and to truly get past this heartache, is to live it, to accept it and to hold onto it until you’re strong enough to let go.
All those years when he told me to take my time, he may not have even known himself the true meaning of what those three words would become. But as he has passed now, I can’t help but add my own words to feel confidence that doubling in numbers, provides hope that this torture will someday end.
And so in return to my Father…
Take Your Time. This Too Shall Pass.