Even way out here, I rarely feel that ‘far away’ from humanity anymore. Not only is there plenty of plastic as a human reminder on the beaches, but we have so many amazing ways to connect and be involved in each other’s lives without being physically together. This technology certainly makes spending these long stretches away from my family less difficult! But it seems when I’m in California, the amount of time we all spend looking at our phones hardly leaves us enough time to notice the weather!
The last few months have been somewhat of a pilgrimage back to the nature for me. With sporadic use of phones and internet…away from cars and advertisements…television and news…facebook and movies, I’ve noticed feeling connected to something that doesn’t require a 2-year contract for a phone upgrade–Earth! And I’ve begun to think we may really be missing out on something. I’ve asked myself over and over lately. What is it that I get from giving nature my attention? What is it that I crave about these faraway places, beyond uncrowded waves and unpolluted water? I’ve concluded that the answer is quite simple: I love to bear witness to wild Earth. It simply makes me feel good. There is an energy that I feel near wilderness–almost like I can hear nature resonating! But once we’ve chopped, cropped and paved, that energy seems subdued. There is simply a different feeling developed places give off…When I find a less human-effected corner of the earth, I feel like I’m witnessing the wild world rejoicing, sparkling, thriving, and flaunting it’s splendor–and I love it!! But these corners are so rare and even the farthest removed places on Earth are being destroyed by climate change…Will these atolls even be above sea level in a hundred years?
We have come a long way from moving at nature’s pace, and it seems to only be getting faster at an exponential rate. That makes sailing a small boat long distances rather special because you don’t have a choice but to work with nature, at nature’s speed. You must wait for the wind to change. You must feel the wetness of the rain and salt. You don’t have jet fuel to push past it…you have to work with it, understand it, give yourself to it. Being at the whim of nature is something we feel relatively little compared to the humans who lived before us. And despite that they missed out on flat screens and frozen yogurt, is there something much bigger that we in this era might be missing? Could it be that being close to nature makes us feel whole? Could it be that recognizing our connection to the rest of life, the elements, and the universal energy that makes all the electrons spin is good for us!?…I feel so good to be a part of such greatness!! Might it fill us with purpose and an intangible wealth to celebrate Earth’s diversity of life? To foster clean rivers, delight in teeming oceans, and see how much love we can bestow upon our Planet? Could it be that giving this love to nature automatically gives us something in return–something we can’t hold in our hands, but in our hearts?
I don’t think it takes a lengthy foray into the wilderness to experience this connection…it can be as simple as respecting the plants and animals that are native to your neighborhood. And just turning off your phone every once and a while to watch the clouds…