Take a Pause


On the way back from Ethiopia we stopped in Istanbul for a little rest. The week had been very long and tiring. Most days we were without power. Cold showers were the norm. The Internet hardly worked making communications nearly impossible. Supplies we had taken were being held in customs. Supplies we were getting in Addis were late. Printed programs were delayed by the lack of power in the city. Each day we got up and worked hard and then slept fitfully due to the drastic time change. When we left, we were all exhausted, satisfied, but exhausted. We had had four great GLS events around the country. We had prepared materials for the next 8 events and left everything in working order.

We arrived in Istanbul at 6 in the morning after getting on the plane at midnight. We were all in a sleep deprivation daze. We were driven to our hotel and our rooms were ready for us. We went immediately to sleep. After a short nap we got up to see the city.

Our first steps lead us to Gülhane Park. This area used to be reserved for the sultan, but in 1839 was opened as a park for all people. It was a beautiful respite after seven stressful days. I had intended only to walk through the park on the way to the Archaeological Museum, but we lingered. We watched birds and dogs and cats. We listened as a children’s field trip ang as they walked. We took pictures and watched people. We spent an hour an hour doing nothing.

The grounded was covered with leaves. I started looking for a beautiful one. I found this one. I stopped and looked at it for a long time. I love the fact that the yellow color was always present-that the green color just masks the underlying color. As the days shorten, the chlorophyll stops being produced and the underlying reality is revealed. I grew up with a saying, “Time and truth walk hand in hand.” It means that given enough time the underlying reality of a situation we become clear. Or another way, you can fake something for only a short amount of time.

As fall emerges around us, take some time to slow down and watch the world. Practice a little autumn in your life. Let somethings go that are no longer producing for you-let go of an idea, think something new. We can’t always be in spring mode instead sometimes we need a strategic pause to get ready for the next things.