It’s been a week on the mountains. Time to write about slow. Since that’s what this is. Slow. Quiet. Still. We put fire on the fireplace and the kitchen stove. We feed the animals, cook for ourselves, bring more wood in. We play with the baby, carry her around, read books with her, put her in the stroller outside for a nap.
When the odd guest comes by, we place coffee, drinks, and food on the table. My husband chats with him, with long pauses in between. There’s simply no hurry. (Unless you count the very momentary Saturday afternoon when the lodge is full of city people visiting the mountains.)
Around here everyone seems to have time. We pass a familiar policeman on the road, he waves us to continue, instead we stop, of course. My husband exchanges the necessary how are you’s, talks a little about the weather, and on we go. The same goes for the post office. Getting a letter stamped to travel to another part of this country takes exactly 12 minutes. During this time the people at the counter negotiate the weather – is it snowing higher up, how fierce were the South winds yesterday – and have a debate on where exactly is the village we’re sending the letter to. And if anyone makes the mistake of starting about politics or economic situation, you can forget the days plan, you’re stuck now for hours.
During the week I’ve been twice to town, Sarajevo, and once to the neighbour, to borrow their internet. We don’t have internet in the guesthouse, no television, no daily newspaper delivered. I brought a bag of books, a laptop and iPad – that’s my entertainment. And on days like yesterday, the utterly quiet Monday, it doesn’t seem enough.
I used to live in the countryside in Finland for years, before moving to more southern Europe. I’m used to the quiet, to the nothingness, just watching the days go by. Regardless of working as a journalist, being rather busy with the work, days seemed long there too.
But here it feels ten times that slow. Quiet. Boring. Maybe it’s the fact that it’s not really my house, my home. Maybe it’s the total cut off from “the world”, with a language barrier. Maybe it’s the hibernating animal within that wants to doze off during the winter. Of course it’s all that.
Time. Some have it, some don’t. That’s how it seems. Some of us have patience. Some don’t. Yet if I’ve got it right, the now moment is the same lenght to all of us. And that’s all we’ve got.
I should celebrate this moment, for once I’m forced to do nothing. I’ve got a good reason to take it easy. I’ve perhaps gotten so accustomed to using every moment available for something useful, that now that’s not possible in the way that I understand it, it bugs the heck out of me. I feel useless, I feel like I’m wasting my time.
This project is about living slow and simple. It’s a pursuit of a green and aware way of life, not opting just the easy path, but the most sustainable and least conscience bothering option. The slow of the project is referring to a state of mind, not so much concrete slowness. I don’t deliberately walk or talk slow, but I hope I can choose to do so. And as most of us have heard before, living slow paradoxically generates more time. In the end that’s what’s so valuable these days. I want us, and especially my daughter to live in an atmosphere of plenty of time. Time for love, family, togetherness. Time to watch the fire, enjoy eating in company, lie down together, play simple games.
So when I’m agonising the boredom, I know I’m at the doorstep of learning something. I miss the immediate access to internet, but instead I’m sitting by the fire, reading to my baby. I want to have a fixed plan for tomorrow, instead we’re letting the weather decide. Because where we are, if it’s bad weather, there’s just no point in leaving the house.