The Snail that Said Slow Down

Posted on March 7th, 2016 by

Finding Meaning

I think, if you listen, the universe sends you messages. I was hiking Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, Japan. The day was grey and rainy, but I had arrived early before the truly overwhelming mass of people. I also knew the physical toll the Kyoto mountains would take on many tourists and the further I hiked, the fewer people I would find. Furiously I climbed, passing people, stopping only for photos, perhaps I missed some things. All of a sudden, I came upon a lake surrounded by this fence, it was a welcome serene sight and a respite for the ever upward climb.

It was then I noticed the snail, alone on the fence. People hurried by all to involved to notice the snail. In a flash, the Sun broke gloriously through the clouds and reflected power from the surface of the still water. The snail continued all the same, but I heard the message. The snail was saying, “slow down”.

The rest of my hike was alive with light, that danced off the rain drops still clinging to the endless Torii Gates of Fushimi Inari-taisha. I did slow down, people came and went, but my speed now allowed them to pass by with ease, and me to linger to find things hidden in the Japanese wood. I took some of the best photos of my trip, because I listened.

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