What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?
This poem by WH Davies, which I learned at school, has been going through my head a lot over the past few days. As I mentioned in one of my comments recently, our internet connection vanished the other night (much to Eldest’s horror). Unfortunately, in Australia all the internet and telephone lines are owned by one BIg Company, which rents them out to other providers. If there’s a problem, those providers have to persuade the Big Company to fix them. If you happen to use the Big Company as your provider, then you have a good chance of it being fixed within a reasonable space of time. But you pay for the privilege, as they charge an arm and a leg for their services. If, on the other hand, you use a different provider, you just have to wait till the Big Company feels like fixing it.
Anyway, in the meantime our service provider has kindly put us onto a free dial-up service, using our telephone line. I can’t believe, though, how slow it is. You can click on a link and go off to make yourself a cup of coffee before it loads. It’s aggravating. Yet it’s only a few years ago that this was the norm. That got me thinking about the ever-increasing pace of life these days. Think about it. When settlers first came to Western Australia in 1829, they could expect a message back to England to take months, if not longer, to reach its destination and be answered, if it ever got there at all. Now, we can type up a message and have an answer in minutes. We can phone a photograph through to someone on the other side of the world in seconds. We’ve come to expect it.
In fact, we’ve come to expect everything to be fast. We stand disgruntled in the shopping centre if there’s more than one trolley in front of us, we sit tapping on the steering wheel if the flow of traffic slows for even a minute, we live on fast food, we expect that publisher to answer our query right NOW. Patience is a rare thing these days and even Christmas time seems to have fallen into that raging river of immediate gratification. Everyone dashes about; shopping, visiting, partying. What are we missing while we rush from one thing to another? Perhaps I should ask the man from the Big Company, who has been standing, staring at the nearby telephone exchange without managing to fix our line, for the past two days?
I wish you all, whether you celebrate Christmas or not, time during this holiday period to stand and stare, to notice the good things, to savour the food, to appreciate your families, to soak in the laughter...to relax. May 2009 bring you peace in whatever way you seek it.
And thank you to you all for reading my blog.