The Pitter Patter of Life
In the constant battle for control, the answer lays in the mist.
With a smile larger than the flowers adorning his Hawaiian shirts, it was hard to be intimidated by Mr. Yango. Part biochemistry teacher, part track coach, “Lou” found a way to make even the most banal intriguing. Meiosis, mitosis, even memorization of the periodic table of elements. A youthful demeanor emanating through his wrinkled Polynesian skin seemed to make every activity, every ask, an adventure. Everything, that is, except the pitter patter.
The pitter patter. An impatient, type-A, competitive teen’s biggest nightmare. A series of steps feigning a jog but barely faster than a brisk walk, a physical chore tolerated by few, yet enforced by the one and only, beaming, Lou. With our heel toes in penguin like formation, we engaged in this subtle saunter down the paths and through the redwoods of Northern California, while Lou guided us to what he proclaimed to be the key to winning races, both in terms of literal time and seasonal endurance. Insert teenage eyerolls.
Alas, day in and day out, we took on this slow stream of steady movement, much akin to the wisps of fog rolling over the Pacific hills behind us. Through misty mornings and dewy evenings, in banter and in silence, the pitter patter prevailed. Stillness in motion, evolution in creation.
As I pitter-pattered into the foggy horizon this morning, I realized how this activity I so dreaded, almost loathed, has become a mainstay of my being. It is the opposite of both 'hurry up and wait,’ and 'slow down and be.’ Like the fog, it is a continual drawl silkifying itself across the air of existence we are inextricably tied to. Held together by water and breath, transformation and expansion. It is the twilight of running, somewhere between heaven and a dream, reminding us that sometimes, what happens tomorrow does not depend on what we do today. It just happens.
Nourishing and obscuring, daunting and fueling, both the fog and the pitter patter hydrate the flora, fauna, and our souls. They cloak the obvious, allowing our imaginations and true nature to prevail, obscuring measures of progress demanded by society and our modern nature while leaving us ready for the next step.
You cannot slow it down. You cannot speed it up. You cannot even truly control it. It is an essential tension, a vis vitalis, an evolution and therewithin a metamorphosis. The future is still there; it is still here, lightly veiled until it decides to reveal itself to us, in a new form, or perhaps one exactly akin to what we expected to see.
You do not stop, you do not slow down. You keep going because it does, the pitter patter, life’s force and simultaneously the force of life.
With each pitter patter, Mr. Yango was training our minds. We are not the ones in control - the fog is.
Brilliant. Lou Yango was an important role model in my young life. Thank you for writing and sharing this