Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup overflows.
“You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t worry. Don’t hurry. And be sure to smell the flowers along the way.” Walter Hagen
If you are like me, you are saying, “Well, who is Walter Hagen and why is his inspirational quote noteworthy?”
Wikipedia informs me that Walter Charles Hagen was an American professional golfer born in 1892 and died in 1969. He was quite successful in his career, third only to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods in lofty achievements. Walter Hagen
Without any further research of his write-up on Wikipedia, I can reasonably assume that my only connection with Walter is the appreciation of flowers. We certainly don’t have golfing in common although I have enjoyed a game of putt-putt in the past. And possibly one can find a similarity between golf and croquet, one of my favorite games as a child. Think about it. Green grass, a piece of equipment with which to hit a ball, a course that the player has to follow, and the camaraderie of grown-ups chasing balls makes the two games rather similar, don’t you think?
Life was much less frantic for Walter and me. We grew up without the annoyance of television and internet, cell phone and social media. We walked evenings after dinner for our ‘constitutional’. We actually stopped by the neighborhood houses to talk to our neighbors relaxing on their porches. And we enjoyed the fragrance of jasmine or gardenias or roses wafting across the front yard.
There was no need to hurry inside to watch the Nightly News or Fox News. Our morning and evening newspapers kept us up to date on everything we needed to know. The only pressing engagement after dinner was the radio broadcast of the Phillies playing the Pirates at 8 PM. Mom and Sis had finished the dishes which were draining to dry aside the kitchen sink. Mom grabbed her sewing basket and Sis did the crossword puzzle while the household men sat by the radio listening to the game. No hurry, just enjoying the important things in life.
The Great Depression had ended and life was good. A chicken in every pot and a new Chevy in the driveway. Dad’s job at the factory guaranteed he could provide a comfortable standard of living. He had a great pension plan and was saving for retirement while Mom was doing what most wives did in our neighborhood – staying at home taking care of the house and the kids. No worries, just enjoying the important things in life.
Okay, okay. You caught me in my fantasy. I’ve only read about those great times when life was good, but dreaming is the next best thing to living it. Times and situations have changed, have they not? Instantly connected to events half a world away, one thousand and fifty channels on cable to entertain us, neighbors whom we have never met, an exercise bike in the basement to replace the constitutional, and Mom, Pop, Sis and Junior rarely seeing each other as they run out the door to various commitments.
I’m only here for a short visit. Is there really any reason to worry or hurry? If there is, then perhaps I have missed the important things in life. There’s a flower garden out in the back yard. I think I will go out and smell the flowers before my visit is over.