Look out for shooting stars..!
A wondered few years ago I went down to where I’d grown up. I
whether the house was still there; it was but looked different. “Where’s the pond that used to be outside?” I asked the new owner after identifying myself. “I broke it down!” he said, “and constructed my study there!” “Sad!” I murmured.
“Sad?” asked the new tenant, “I’m able to do a lot of work in that study without disturbing my family! All the work I don’t finish in the office is finished over here! What did you do when the pond was here?” “Looked up for shooting stars!” I said.
According to a Greek legend, in ancient Athens a man noticed the great storyteller Aesop playing childish games with some little boys. He laughed and jeered at Aesop, asking him why he wasted his time in such frivolous activity.
Aesop responded by picking up a bow, loosening its string, and placing it on the ground. Then he said to the critical Athenian, “Now, answer the riddle, if you can. Tell us what the unstrung bow implies.” The man looked at it for several moments but had no idea what point Aesop was trying to make. The moralist explained, “If you keep a bow always bent, it will break eventually; but if you let it go slack, it will be more fit for use when you want it.”
So it is with us. Our minds and bodies are like the bow. When constantly under pressures of everyday life, we can eventually break. We need to loosen up; we need time to take the pressure off and relax.
Former baseball pitcher Dutch Leonard might have put it a little differently. He once said that the secret of great pitching is not speed or the ability to throw curves. It’s the “change of pace.” The average batter will soon learn to hit a pitcher who continually throws the same kind of pitch. But it’s hard to hit against a pitcher who changes the pace of delivery. That change of pace gives a pitcher the edge over the best of batters.
A change of pace likewise gives us an edge in life. Taking time to watch the clouds, enjoy the gentle breeze, take a walk, read or just slow down is necessary if we are to be our best later. And a regular day of rest is as important as regular sleep. It’s a way of taking the pressure off.
To be your best, make sure you change your pace. It may just be the change you need. I remember waking to where the old pond once stood, I remember going back in time. There we all sat around with our legs on it, my fathers long ones, my mother’s shapely ones and two little pairs, belonging to my brother and me. In quietness we watched the dark sky: “There!” shouted ma and we all looked in the direction of a streaking shooting star and smiled and laughed and made a wish! What fun to be unstrung bows..! — Email:firstname.lastname@example.org