ShareThis Page
Slow the pace to enjoy life more |

Slow the pace to enjoy life more

| Tuesday, August 22, 2006 12:00 a.m

Stop. Look. And listen.

Before I jump into the next 500 hundred words, I am making a disclaimer. What I am about to say reminds me of a hundred other opinion pieces all making the same point: My generation needs to learn to pause. But I do not care; I’ll add my two cents to the banter.

I have held this opinion on occasion, but I was especially struck by the notion during my last visit to a Pittsburgh favorite, Kennywood Park. As a good and faithful Pittsburgher, I cannot let a summer pass without at least one trip to the amusement park.

I find myself in the same routine every year. A morning and afternoon filled with rushing from one ride to the next, all the while wiping sweat off of my face and out of my eyes. As the sun beats down, I pound the pavement in order to squeeze in as many rides as possible. While waiting in line, I observe the usual cast of characters; the teen girls in their new outfits, the little kids with wide eyes, the parents just trying to withstand the heat.

But at the end of the night when the rides are shutting down, I go and stand on the bridge near the paddleboats. For a moment, I soak in the glimmering lights as the soft, old-time Kennywood music starts to play. I feel the exhaustion of the day start to creep over me as Kennywood slides into another world, one of calm and silence.

I realized something as I stood on the bridge. Of course, I had fun during the day, but I discovered that fun was at the cost of truly enjoying my surroundings. What could I possibly observe and notice about the park itself at the pace I felt obliged to maintain all day• I have never noticed that beautiful fountain to my left, I thought. And why hadn’t I ever seen those old trees before• I had no idea there was a gazebo in Kennywood!

My problem is that all day, I had been trying to fit in one more exciting thing: one more ride, one more ice cream cone, one more cute boy. All day, I have been in a rush for that next great thing. Not until the end, when the closing of the park provided me with a brief moment to stop and observe, did I appreciate Kennywood for what it truly is — a beautiful park full of light, charm, history and romance.

And isn’t that the manner is which we so frequently live life• We rush from one great thing to the next, without ever pausing. We all do it in our own way, whether it is in our educations, careers, hobbies or relationships. We “youngsters” need to learn to slow down a bit and see the forest through the trees. Or, as I realized this last week, Kennywood through the rides.

Hannah Snoke, 21, of Regent Square, is a senior at Covenant College, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.