Photo By Nathan McDonald
“The idea began on hot southern summer day in New Orleans, Louisiana - The kind where sweat drips and the air smells of cut onions and smoke. A reverent nod to a place where porches are open and lights are always on.
I want to bicycle to town. We could stay on the road...or not.
I want to hesitate and be patient.
I want to stand on the ground and feel it.
I want to pick fresh fruit and feel it drip down my chin with every bite.
The best feelings hurry too much.
I want to remember the day my son and I were silly at the park.
Put. The. Phone. Down.
How does your garden...Your life... How does your spirit grow?
In 2016, my partner Nathan and I spent a lot of time in New Orleans. When I think of our time there, the first image that comes to mind is our slow drive down Magazine street with the windows down, mosquitos and Lead Belly in the speakers. The pace of life changes when you go to a place like that, go on vacation or have no plans in particular - doesn't it? Somehow that becomes luxury.
So, I came home from New Orleans and the questions kept probing:
"Why are we always so rushed?" or "Why do I never have enough time?"
It was met with equal parts frustration and longing for a life I knew I wanted - Something better for myself and something more intentional for everyone I came into contact with. I wanted to be able to have a conversation without multi-tasking and actually look my friends in the eye. I wanted to sit down. I wanted to enjoy cooking a meal and not throw it together.
So, on my next trip to visit Nathan, we made a flag. That's what everyone does when facing deeper, stirring life desires right? I'm a part-time flag maker so roll with it.
Anyway. We made a flag. I never shared it and nothing ever came of it, it was just this gut punch reminder.
Fall 2017 - My best friend Madeline Ellis of Mimosa Handcrafted and I were texting and I told her about this flag made and the idea of "Live Slow." Without hesitation she replied, "HELL YES!" It's important to choose "yes" friends but "HELL YES!" friends are extra important and Madeline is one of those. I kid you not, within an hour, I had a sketch and within two weeks, there was a ring. Madeline and her husband Dawson (the other half of Mimosa) are not only two of my favorite people but they are pillars of the maker community and incredible jewelry makers.
Since then, Madeline and I have been sharing ways that this simple idea permeates our lives. It's saying no to an extra few minutes of work. It's choosing better food not just for our own bodies but for our families, the community. It's connectedness.
It's saying, "HELL YES!" and leaning in.