How to Slow Down Time

Many of us suffer from an overactive life where time just whizzes by at light speed. The more active we are, the longer our to-do list, the more often we realize that time passed us by. Our attention is so frantic. Our minds just can’t keep up.

I’m 100% in this camp. I get on a work treadmill that takes me from farm work to my dayjob to my work with Manna Co-op, and, oh, shouldn’t we try to clean the house sometime? Weeks have gone by like this and I realize it’s already August. We’re already at week 7 and next week is the half-way mark through the CSA season! This has been the pattern for the 12 years I’ve been doing CSA and the experience of many in Minnesota – as soon as the summer starts, you can already see the end. That’s natural.

The problem is that this same pattern plays out across longer time periods. My oldest child, Sylvia, is now 13 years old! I’ve been married 17 years and graduated 23 years ago! What happened? I honestly don’t like these realizations, especially when I conclude that a fevered focus on work has left me with nothing but a blurry recollection of time. I was just moving too fast to soak anything in.

So, how does one slow down time? Presence. This one simple concept is so meaningful and will only grow in importance in our era of distraction (yes, I’m talking to you Facebook user). Our attention is really all we have and I have actively tried to shift mine over the past two years. For me, it’s a practice of getting out of my tunnel vision and redirect my presence on each person or moment. But it is also a practice and I keep on working on it (I didn’t say I was good at it).

At Lida Farm, as example, no matter how much work remains on the list, we take the kids swimming about every other day in the summer. I jump in and cool off for about 5 minutes and then just sit and watch them play. I don’t check email, I don’t try to multitask anything. I just sit there and pay attention to the moment. These hour breaks won’t cause the farm season to fall apart, but they will make the moments which make life worth living.

So, turn off notifications on your phone right now. Drop all un-necessary tasks – do you really care about what your neighbors think about your lawn? Pay attention or you too may realize that life happened quicker than you wanted.

In the box:

  • Sweet corn
  • Tomato mix
  • Bunch of carrots
  • Green Pepper
  • Islander Purple Pepper
  • Zucchini: We took a couple week break from zucchini, but after a little time off, maybe you’all are ready for another.
  • Red Potatoes
  • Eggplant: Most of you got Japanese eggplant (long, slender type), but some got a traditional Italian style.
  • Sweet Onion
  • Leeks
  • Thai Basil: This has a bit of a liqorice flavor and great in a lot of Asian cooking such as a curry or Thai.
  • Kale

Instead of dumping a single recipe here, I suggest you’all check out this about uses for Thai basil: There is even a great-looking recipe for that uses both the eggplant in the box with Thai basil. Check it out.


One thought on “How to Slow Down Time

  1. I drive by your stand more than several times a year. We have had a family cabin on Otter Lake for 53 years. Our slice of heaven and weekend therapy. Just saw the documentary “The Biggest Little Farm”. Also read the piece in today’s Star and Trib about the organic farm down by Rochester. You’re all doing something great, keep it up. I enjoyed reading your perspective on leading a purposeful life. Spot on and appreciated!


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