Tuesday, October 13, 2009

moment of mindfulness...have you got time for this?

I spent most of my adult life seeing how fast I could do everything. And then about eight years ago, I realized that there was a whole lot I was missing as I was racing through my life. So I stopped. Well, I didn’t stop, but I slowed down significantly. Sometimes, I look back on that former self and wonder just who she was and how she managed to do so much in such a short amount of time. But there is not a lot I really remember.

We have vacationed twice in charming camps in the Adirondack Mountains called Fourpeaks. The first time we camped at Fourpeaks coincided with my jumping ship from my fast-paced life. Martin, the camp owner, encourages his guest to make biscuits from scratch.

It’s a simple thing really, but for me it might have been life transforming. Being encouraged to slow down enough to let butter thaw out on its on, to mix the ingredients with my hands, to roll out the batter and hand cut each biscuit and then to wait 12 minutes while the kitchen fills with the comforting smell of homemade goodness was an important first step for me. A beginner’s practice that helped me learn to slow down and focus on one simple thing…making biscuits. And of course, the rewards were so worth it.

In his biscuit recipe, Martin poses the question "have you got time for this?" To this day, I still hear myself asking the same question. A mantra of sorts to remind me to slow down a bit and do things mindfully.

Both of my sons were born within a year of vacationing at Fourpeaks. Even though I have only spent 2 weeks of my life there, it is a sacred place for me…with lots of memories. It’s a place that taught me to slow down and savor the moment… and that there should always be enough time in my life to make biscuits.

::: ::: :::

Later this week, I’ll share my version of Mrs. Eliot’s Buttered Scones…another treat I learned how to make at Fourpeaks. For now…here are Martin’s recipes for Baking Powder Biscuits and other baked goodies.


  1. that's a very good mantra - have I got time for this? - I am often very guilt of frantically racing through as much as I can, placing importance on finishing quickly, rather than relishing the process and effort. Remembering "have I got time for this" will also reduce family stress :-) Thanks!

  2. How beautifully stated and shared. The little piece of time I love is scrubbing the kitchen floor. There is sacredness in the mundane. Your post has left me feeling peaceful and wanting to"have time for this" and to go camping at Fourpeaks. :)

  3. as someone trying to slow as well this was a great post to read....thanks for sharing!

  4. What a great post. There is something about cooking that is truly mindful. Thank you for sharing this, and reminding me that life is supposed to be savored, not rushed through.

  5. Oh wow! I have lived here all my life and have never heard of this place. Sounds like it was incredible. Thanks for sharing, and I intend to try that Baking Powder biscuit recipe ASAP!

  6. Elizabeth, the pace of your writing and wise words fill my heart. I think mantras are so positive and truly do make you think twice about how you will go about each moment in life. I understand when you write about a place being sacred. Thank you for sharing this wisdom.


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