Fast food! Deadlines! Instant news! Exams! Facebook! Don’t be late! Don’t you just wish the world would slow down a little, just to let you catch up with it all? Well guess what, that’s not the world’s decision, it’s ours, and anyway, it just did 🙂
The incredible team at Doncopolitan pulled everyone together and made Doncaster chill the heck out last weekend, with Slow Down Sunday (image by Horne & Draper, btw): a wonderful, sunshiney day of homemade bread, apron making, music, chatting, seed-bomb-making, cooking, vegetable entertainment (no really), homemade jams, chutneys and sauces, sewing, smoothie making, and a whole heap more. Including (which is where I come in), sitting down with a cuppa and some needle and thread, and reminding ourselves just what makes Doncaster such a great place to live.
Following on from the craftivism workshop I did for International Women’s Day, I was invited back to do something similar ‘but more centred around the Slow Down Sunday idea’. So this time, instead of hearts to tell women how amazing they are, I encouraged people to stitch leaves, to tell everyone what they loved most about their home town of Doncaster.
It’s a place that gets an unfair rap, and when I set up and told people what I wanted them to do, I got a few nudges of ‘Really? Can’t you ask an easier question?’, and one long list of just how many shops have closed up over the past twenty years! But when people sat down to really think, the answers came thick and fast – my school, the people, the community, the parks, Donny Rovers (some may want to disagree, but if Lorna Horne tells you Donny Rovers are the best thing ever, it’s not an advisable stance to take 😉 ), our church, shopping, my teachers, the festivals, family and friends… An obvious theme emerged, and as someone who doesn’t live there I can vouch for this with my own observations: the people are what makes Doncaster so great.
And isn’t that true everywhere, if we just take the time to slow down and appreciate it? Human beings can find themselves in the best situations and the worst, but as long as we can retain our common humanity, and reach out to our neighbours, we can be bloody brilliant. So slow down, think about your answers, step out of the constant race for more, and take the time to recognise and acknowledge what you already have.
As a great philosopher once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.”