Simon and Garfunkel had a big hit with "Feeling Groovy."
It tells the listener to get off the treadmill of modern life.
The opening line says it all: Slow down, you move too fast.
Have you ever had the following experience?
You blast through your day a million miles an hour, accomplishing a boatload of tasks.
Pleased with yourself.
A tiny voice in the back of your brain is saying you've forgotten something important.
Who cares that you made mincemeat of a monster to-do list when you've overlooked an item of great import?
A chilling sensation.
I almost forgot an important wedding anniversary: my own.
Mr. Man-of-action almost raced his way past a landmark in his own marriage.
Not a good thing.
Here's the story of a lady who fast-paced her way to an epic tragedy.
Teacher Brenda Slaby was caught in the jetstream of the harried life.
The first day of school dawned, Brenda determined to start it off right.
With her two-year-old daughter Cecelia buckled into the child car seat, she drove off to slay the dragon of the challenging new school year.
She was out on the road so early that the daycare wasn't yet open to receive Cecelia.
Super-teacher used the extra time to drive to Dunkin Donuts.
She thought about the other instructors and how cheery it would be to find a box of glazed and powdered in the faculty lounge.
The first day of school was a whirlwind.
Brenda watched students file out of the building.
She had never initiated a school year so smoothly.
Then the darkest of veils descended on Brenda.
A fellow teacher came to Brenda with an urgent report.
Cecelia was still in the station wagon.
Since 6:30 AM!
Brenda had gone straight from Dunkin to school, distracted by her racing mind, toddler innocently sleeping in the back seat carrier.
Cecelia died of heat stroke on that sweltering day in late August.
The importance of a job or an appointment or anything means nothing to her these days.
That's because the experience of holding the limp lifeless body of her darling Cecelia is a suffocating nightmare memory invading her psyche day and night.
Cecelia is in heaven.
Brenda Slaby is living in hell.
Brenda truly and sincerely loved her daughter and by all accounts was a great mom.
It's just that one day she was moving too fast.
Slow down, you move too fast.
Got to make the morning last.
Just kicking down the cobblestones.
Looking for fun and feeling groovy.
The free and easy lilt of that tune is a contrast to the speed of our lives.
Look, I'm not promoting chasing butterflies as an alternative to paying the electric bill.
But slow down.
Love your family, gently, without the rush.
Say a prayer for Brenda Slaby.
And for yourselves that your amped up existence won't cause you to forget important things.
Or important people.