Slowing Down

There is something about those words, slowing down, that makes me think of old age. I am sure that it has been ingrained in me via media messages about aging, and I fight the thought when it comes to me. Yet at the same time there is truth that there is a sort of slowing down as one ages.

“The slowing of metabolism is a real thing. “The primary thing that seems to occur is that mitochondria in the cells slow down with age,” explains Christopher Newgard, director of the Sarah W. Stedman Nutrition and Metabolism Center at Duke University Medical School.

A recent study out of Germany on the relation between age and brain function likened older people’s decline in cognitive speed to the functionality of older computer hard drives: As more information is uploaded to the brain over time it starts to slow down, in a similar way to how a hard drive with an overabundance of information is slower than a new hard drive.

See, there is evidence out there that we do slow down when we age, which causes worry and fear in many.

However, today’s post is really about needing to slow down.

pooh wisdom

Some of us have a tendency to rush through life, keeping busy, busy, busy so that, while we seem to accomplish a lot, we often miss more than we see.

Somewhere in my past I picked up this little voice in my head that can be quite persuasive. It says things like

“Go,go, go.”
“What are you doing sitting down? There are things to be done!”
“Work harder. Go faster. Do more.”

The other day in a yoga class, which is billed as “Gentle Yoga”, that voice popped up and said, “This class is for sissies, what are you doing here?”

I gently shut the voice down and carried on. After all, the message of this class was to take the time to listen and pay close attention to the body; to notice where there was tightness; where one struggled with poses; and then to focus on the breath to work with what you noticed, allowing the breath to lessen tension in the body.

As I worked on slowing down and focusing on very small things happening in my body while I moved through the poses, I was reminded of the mantra my husband recites when we go on bike rides and faced with a big hill to climb – “Slow and steady wins the race.”

When he says that the voice in my head responds with, “What, this is a race?! I didn’t know this was a race. Why didn’t anyone tell me it was a race? Let’s get moving – faster, faster.” But I shut the voice up when I’ve sped up the hill too quickly and about half way I am sucking wind so badly that I have to stop to breath before I can continue on. Then I fume silently as I watch my husband pedal past me, slow and steady, all the way to the top of the hill. Without stopping.

There are reminders in my life daily, providing me with opportunities to slow down, look around, see what I’ve never seen before. It is something I work on often, and over time I’ve noticed a second voice that speaks up more often now, reminding me to stay in the moment; to be present in all I do; to take the time to listen and to see. And so I do.

Stop and smell the roses.

Stop and smell the roses.

Diving Bonaire!

Fianlly, finally, finally.

I had the opportunity to put a short video together of our dive experience while in Bonaire recently. I think the video speaks for itself. Mind you it isn’t professional, but my first attempt using the GoPro editor. I think it worked out okay. I’ve also included a few underwater stills. Hope you enjoy!

Artificial reef

Artificial reef

Juvenile French Angels

Juvenile French Angels

Mature French Angel

Mature French Angel

Brain Coral

Brain Coral

Fire Coral

Fire Coral

Coral Reef

Coral Reef

Sponges

Sponges

More coral reef

More coral reef

Fish fish everywhere!

Fish fish everywhere!

Juvenile French Angel

Juvenile French Angel

Multi-colored star coral

Multi-colored star coral

Napping Grunts

Napping Grunts

Snappers!

Snappers!

Star Coral

Star Coral

Yellow tailed Snapper

Yellow tailed Snapper

Atlantic Tarpon

Atlantic Tarpon

Queen Angel

Queen Angel

Honey Bee Progress Check and Revision

The last time I wrote about the new bee hives was in the post Bee Check. The post was minimal, but reported that all was a-okay.

We have checked the hives a couple of times since then and have discovered some interesting things. First of all we noticed that the hive that seemed a little stronger at the end of May, was now seeming less so. Its population was significantly reduced in numbers, so that now it appeared smaller than the other hive. It’s hard to know what that is about, though we felt that perhaps some of the bees had swarmed.

When we checked the hives on July 5th things looked good in hive A. The lower super had quite a bit of capped brood, though in one frame Dave thought he could see double sets of eggs, which is an indicator that workers are laying eggs, not a queen. There were a lot of frames beginning to fill with honey. The top super was less busy, but the bees were beginning to draw out comb in the four center frames.

Hive B was similar in the top super, but in the bottom super we did see the queen on frame 5. There was a good amount of capped brood and larvae, along with some honey production.

During the July 19 check we thought that hive A might be making a queen. We saw a lot of drone cells and a queen cell in the top super. The bottom super was FULL of drone cells – way too many drones – what is going on? It is very concerning when there is an overabundance of drones as that means worker bees have started laying eggs, which are unfertilized, because there is no queen, and the result will be drones, drones, and more drones. Not good for a hive.

So, on July 24 we experimented. We are still hopeful that a new queen is in he works. . .remember we are beginners at this, so hope is golden, like honey. Our hope has led us to try removing a done cell frame from hive A and replacing it with a capped brood frame from hive B. It’s kind of like surrogate parenting, or adoption, or. . .something.

In order to do this we had to brush all the bees off of the drone cell frame and set it aside. Then we replaced that frame with one that was full of capped brood (kind of a nursery) from the other hive. Then we replaced the removed frame with an empty one and put it all back together.

The coolest part of this process was when I told Dave I wanted to inspect the removed frame more closely. When I did we noticed several drones in the process of hatching out and I videotaped one of the births. Here it is:

The adventure continues. . .

Writing Prompt #115

Prompts

Sound has the ability to inspire. Think of the times you have listened to a song, rhythm, sound and been transported to another place; another time.

Today’s prompt is about sound. I offer you choices of sounds to listen to and write about where one or any of them take you. What comes to mind when you listen? What are you feeling? or seeing in your mind’s eye as you listen? Are you remembering someone in particular? An event or special moment in your life? or maybe your imagination is sparked and new and amazing ideas come to mind. Whatever it is, enjoy the experience and write, write, write!