I’m always in a hurry, have so much to do, so little time. Yet In Antarctica, time just abides. Let me try to explain. Have you ever had the experience of going on a vacation, whether a relaxing week at the beach or an adventure-filled camping or skiing trip, only to find the week or two gone before you know it? You’ve had a great time, but, especially at the halfway mark, time speeds up.
In Antarctica, time takes on the opposite quality. It rests. It settles. It ceases to exist, at the same time that it becomes all.
For instance, whales: we saw them from time to time, sometimes in pods of 50 or more! Yet that seeing required time on the bridge, time with binoculars scanning the horizon for blows. Sometimes hours or even days passed with us seeing nothing but the waves and horizon. During that time, we would often find the giant Albatross and Petrels, who soar for hundreds and thousands of miles between land masses, stretching their wings to ride the currents of air, attuned to the nuance of the wind and waves.
That time offered its own reward: peace.
In my work and in my life, my default mode always has been speed. I pack as much as possible into every day. I schedule myself to the max, governed by the sense of passing time and an eagerness to be, do, experience it ALL. I drive fast cars and fast motorcycles. I drive them fast, on fast roads. I write fast. I talk fast (which is a good thing for an auctioneer after all).
Since Antarctica, I am learning to slow down, to let the peace of reflection and patience find its way into my days. By doing that, I have discovered new ways to look at challenges, keeping in mind the staggering beauty and immensity of the ice and the mountains and the water in a place where time stands still.
I remember the whales.