I overheard a local dad talking to his young son as they walked about on the rocks by the ocean. The boy was probably 6 or 7, still quite small, and needed his fathers direction to get around the terrain.
“Move slow,” he said. “Take time. That’s how you see the magic.” I got this strange feeling, hearing this small life lesson imparted on this young boy. Maybe to them, it wasn’t a life lesson. Perhaps that’s just normal talk in this place and the normal way of life here. Either way, it was a beautiful thing to overhear, and so very true.
I too stumbled along these rocks—bands of hardened sharp black lava that make up the shoreline. I don’t have good footing here. My feet, ankles and legs are unaccustomed to moving across this type of landscape. The shape and texture of this place is pretty unfamiliar and I feel slowed down by it, unstable.
But then the dad’s words caught me. I slow down, and an entire universe appears. There are small pools full of coral and urchins among these rocks, with small striped fish and purple eels living in them, perhaps tossed in by the sea. Little black crabs skitter about and all kinds of invertebrates are underfoot. Sea turtles sleep in the shallow coves as fish clean their shells. This place is full of life, if you just move slowly, and take the time to look under a rock, or into a pool, or over the next scramble.
Even if you aren’t in a place like this, the same lesson rings true everywhere and anywhere you find yourself. Whether you’re amongst nature, amongst culture, architecture, art, amongst people…Move slow. Take time. That’s how you see the magic.