Friday, April 22, 2011

Your not on Facebook? Then what do you do with your free time?

In these, the days of Facebook and Twitter, the days of instant and constant communication, I crave a slight reprieve from it all.  I miss the simplicity of a life before all that, a life I never really experienced. When your word meant everything because you couldn't change plans any instant with a quick text. When experiences were understood communally and carried out together.

I do not mean to bash what we have created for ourselves. Technology has improved life and communication in many positive ways but I also believe that everyone needs a healthy dose of understanding the life without,  needs something to connect you with the earth instead of just clever distraction from it.  It is a feeling that those who go camping and birding understand well. Those who pay attention to the world using all of their senses. Don't let it all pass you by. Even in an urban setting there is more than meets the eye. Listen for sounds, take slow deep breaths to smell and taste, keep your eyes open and your mind aware that the things you so often disregard as "everyday" and "commonplace" may hold the most significance of all.

Children are being brought up with overwhelming Nature Deficit Disorder. You may think that is just some hippie B.S. but it is quite real. We are not so separate from nature as we like to pretend.  We are a product of it and have continuous ties to it.  Disregarding our living environment is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in life.  Our health as individuals and as a species is completely tied to and dependent upon the health of the ecosystem we live in. This includes our, often overlooked, mental health.  A book by Richard Louv, "Last Child in the Woods", goes on to elaborate and present the facts about Nature Deficit Disorder.  I would highly recommend this book to those curious about why, as individuals, we should care about the environment.

I say get outside and enjoy a nice day however you can. Take shelter from the rain but think about it and maybe even watch as it cascades down the gutters.  Leave the Ipod at home on your next run and pay attention to the wind in the trees, the birds now singing for mates, the cicadas rhythmic chorus with its hypnotizing ebb and flow(midwesterners especially). Gain a respect for the normal and seemingly unexciting behaviors of a squirrel or a sparrow. Grow a garden or even just a few plants to forge that bond between you and nature.  I have found divine moments of relaxation in these simple pleasures as the volume of daily stress fades out.  These are all windows into our own world if we will only open our eyes long enough to see through them.

Do you see it?

No comments:

Post a Comment