you have to slow down. as you drive in door county toward the ferry dock on the southern side of death’s door, the road begins to curve. it is imperative to slow down. after you arrive at the dock, as you wait for the ferry, IF you have a signal, you google the route, wondering. you find:
“Jens Jensen was a vehement believer in the power of nature to enrich the lives of men and women. His parks are famous for their water features, rock gardens, and meandering paths meant to mimic and incorporate nature rather than shape it.”
it is said that this scandinavian man (a landscape architect) designed this road to do just that: enrich people’s lives by nature. slow them down. i give a lot of credit to a person who chose to do what was likely an unpopular decision in a society that wants to get as-quickly-as-possible from point a to point b. slowing people down takes some guts. (have you ever driven the speed limit in the fast lane?)
i tend to go slower than d. we are both project-driven and completion-oriented. but once he is on a mission, he is relatively unstoppable. he likens it to being OCD (i’m not sure i’d entirely agree) but his focus is intense and he, like many, is not as tangential or multi-tasking-ish as i am. he doesn’t circle around or circle back like i do. it makes me wonder if circling is perceived as intense as straight-line-aheading, but i digress.
each time we have driven the road to the ferry that takes us to our little island i have thought about stopping and taking a picture of it. many people are parked on the side of the road, pausing to do just that, trying to wait until all the cars are gone and there aren’t other people standing in the middle of the road photographing the ideal photograph. i have joked about how they should maybe buy a postcard, but then, it’s not their personal moment and i really understand that.
the other day, because this route has grown on me and because it is really beautiful, i thought again about stopping to take a picture, to remember…all the times we have driven this way. i drove past the curvy part and then, because there was this nagging debate in my brain, said, “would you mind if we went back so i could get a picture?” of course, d’s answer was, “no, turn around! we’re in no hurry!” so i did. i circled back. i stood in the road and waited until there were no other cars or other people standing in the middle of the lane. i could smell the colors of the fall leaves, could feel the briskness of air and the smile of the sun, knew the ferry to the island was at the other end of the curves.
the idea of decelerating people to appreciate nature and moments in it speaks to me. the idea of incorporating nature rather than shaping it speaks to me. believing in the power of nature speaks to me. i vote with jens – slow down.