“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, “This is what it is to be happy.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
The weekend was pleasant enough, but Sunday was the best day by far. The day was filled with friends, simple entertainment, and nature.
Nature is my church. Nature is where my heart and spirit soar free, flying through the fresh air, dancing in and out through the foliage, splashing in the rushing waters of the rivers and lakes, dashing through the warm fingers of sunlight and the cool shadows of the leaves and trees. Nature is my zen, my happy place, my nirvana. It is in nature that I worship. We spent hours at the park, scrabbling around near the river, walking the paths near the mill, enjoying each other’s company. It was easy to forget the call of the world beyond. It was easy to drown out the unpleasantness from the previous week, letting go of all of the cares of the world and just simply BE.
I did things that frightened me. Not that they were dangerous or risky, unless you call falling in cool water on a hot day a risk. I’m not young anymore. My abilities to balance aren’t what they used to be. We walked an old rock wall near an old mill whose site was turned into a park. (That’s me in the front) I had to have great balance and the butterflies in my stomach were immensely busy fluttering, but I swallowed my fears and walked the wall. And then another. But that time, my husband held my hand, to reassure himself as well as me that I was safe, secure, and looked after.
This photo was taken by a friend. I’m in the front.
I took pictures of the old train trestle and tracks.
We enjoyed the interesting and colorful urban art that was on the cement stanchions and walls.
I saw my kids run and play and climb and be kids. We had a good time, a good day, and we plan on going back and doing more of the same with other added activities, like kayaking and maybe even a picnic.
Other than the use of my phone to take the pictures, I didn’t post to facebook. I didn’t tweet my photos. I recorded the memories, as I should, and put my phone back in my pocket to enjoy the moment. This time was too precious to miss.
My husband often says, when he is angry and impatient with a business, his time is precious. Truth be told, all of our time is precious. No one’s time is less costly than anothers. And the time we miss with our family and friends, the time we give to facebook and instagram and our phones and texting and tweeting…all of that time is time we will never get back. Technology has become a time-suck, a sneaky villain that wriggles in under the guise of helpfulness and takes bites out of our lives that we barely pay attention to, all the while complaining that there isn’t enough time in the day to do A, B, and C. Yet, the irony is if we paid half as much attention to what we really need to do as we do to our phones and facebook and technology, then we would probably get everything we need to do done.
I still love technology, don’t get me wrong. I love my phone, my tablet, my laptop. They all serve their purposes quite well. They keep me in contact with my friends, family, and coworkers. They help me to stay abreast of news. They entertain me when I am sick in bed, having insomnia, or stuck watching a tv show picked by my kids that makes me want to shove pencils in my eyes. But I am seeing more and more a need to take a step back from it so I can get back to what really matters in life. Because the less attention I pay to the time I spend with technology, the more I am giving up time with friends and loved ones. I have to feed what is important. I have to know when enough technology is enough.
Family is important.
Friends are important.
Worshiping nature is important.
Technology can wait.
“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
― Vincent van Gogh