“If the heat goes over 1040 in South Carolina, you have to go to bed. It’s practically the law. Some people might see it as shiftless behaviour, but really, when we’re lying down from the heat, we’re giving our minds time to browse around for new ideas, wondering at the true aim of life, and generally letting things pop into our heads that need to. In the sixth grade there was a boy in my class who had a steel plate in his skull and was always complaining how test answers could never get through to him. Our teacher would say, ‘Give me a break.’
“In a way, though, the boy was right. Every human being on the face of the earth has a steel plate in his head, but if you lie down now and then and get still as you can, it will slide open like elevator doors, letting in all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently, pushing the button for a ride to the top. The real troubles in life happen when those hidden doors stay closed for too long. But that’s just my opinion.”
How sad that our lives have become so crowded and busy; we chase frantically after the “next thing”; we strive for efficiency, effectiveness, relevance, or whatever it is we think we are missing—or our boss thinks we are missing, or our spouse thinks we are missing. We don’t have time to stop and listen, to let in “all the secret thoughts that have been standing around so patiently”.
Don’t wait for 1040 (400 C) to strike. Make space in the busy schedule; take a deep breath; open those “elevator doors”, and start listening today.
(Extract from The Secret Life of Bees, Headline Publishing Group (London) 2008, pp 211f)