July 12, 2013

How I Unplugged & Plugged into Nature.


“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” ~ Susan Polis Schutz

I was nearly unplugged for a week. I had limited access to the internet, Facebook, email and mindless dribble.

I was in the country outside of my normal range of constant connection. I could hear a chipmunk sneeze. The water off the dock was still. Silence was sincerely deafening and equally refreshing; an oxymoron of peacefulness. I forgot how quiet, quiet can be.

After the first 48 hours of withdrawal, I settled into a routine. I wandered the wooded area near a creek and noticed I was completely exhausted and in need of a reboot.

The dock pilings were built to withstand the weight. There was a bend and give to the rhythm of the water. High tide poured in and low tide took a break. I was at low tide. I had no more to give and I gave over to nature to refuel. I really needed this break. I believe the universe gives us messages all the time.

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together.
 All things connect.” ~ Chief Seattle, 1854

I’ve been in survivor mode off and on for decades. I’ve sat with it, in its darkest corners and quietness. In this abstract spot there is a light of insight like the tentacles of a jelly fish, reaching for the next meal, freely flowing in the murky waters and gliding effortlessly. I needed to let go and glide effortlessly. By peeling back the layers of technology to busy my fingers and mind with noise, I no longer had a barrier. I had to face me.

I started to leave the phone behind and enjoy nature. If I did bring it along, I snapped pictures and fell in love with the simplest of moments.

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” ~ Iris Murdoch

I meditated as I listened to the birds chatter. An eagle soared overhead. Two amazing blue herons skimmed across the stillness, reflecting their beauty. Doves cooed their melodic and haunting lullaby. Fish leaped in the still water creating a splash; mini tambourines of life. I focused on the moment because I had absolutely nothing else to do. This is shocking and created a different type of anxiety. In a whisper from the trees I heard, “It’s okay. You are being taken care of!”

I reflected and internalized nature as a reflection of my soul. I touched my ribs with my heart beat. I lingered between the pause of inhale and exhale.

I began to “lie down and listen to the crabgrass grow,” as Marya Mannes once said.



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Ed: B. Bemel

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