Don’t Blink!

If you blink you could miss a moment! That is not to say your eyes must stay open every one of the 86,400 seconds of every day, or 604,800 seconds every week, or 31,536,000 seconds of every year … .

I know the time I have spent with my eyes wide open has been a fraction of the more than two BILLION seconds of my lifetime so far (go ahead, do the math). There is so much going on right here, right now and every other place on this planet. It is not possible to be aware of all of it. I will resist the temptation to say, “Look up from that screen you are fixated on.” After all, what am I doing myself right now but exactly that?

A Reminder and an Invitation

My reminder to myself, and my invitation to anyone reading this, is to remember. Screen time may be unavoidable as an essential part of my life, and yours. At the same time, remember, there is more to life than selfies and youtube videos. Get outside, smell the flowers or the wet duff of a forest floor or the desert after a rain. Taste blackberries ripened in the sun, a fresh picked snap pea or parsley leaf. Watch the play of light as it moves through the day. Notice how it paints fresh pictures any moment you choose to look. 

yellow apricot to orange petals on opening roses are clustered amidst burgundy leaves and thorny stems
Or “smell the roses” as the saying goes.

And don’t rely on daylight only. Even in these, for us Northern Hemisphere folks right now and you in the Southern Hemisphere when your turn comes, long summer days, the night time is lovely. Feel the sun warmed air on your skin at the end of the heating cycle. Bundle up to catch a glimpse of sparkle and gleam in deep dark long-night skies, the colors a full moon makes on snow crystals or through the bare branches of a tree or the prickly halo of a cactus tree. Listen for the hoot of an owl, the rustle of breezes as air cools.

Can you imagine any of these images? smells? Tastes?

Memory Links to Imagination

Chances are better you can get a visceral memory if you have had an experience of the real thing, 360 degrees around, above and below your nerve endings. 

In my most recent blog, The Real Reality Show, I pondered the imperative of experience as porthole to the planetary extravaganza of earthly delights.

With this post I implore you: First, thanks for reading. Second, look up; put down whatever device you are using to read these words. Then go outside, wherever you are right now, take a look around, a deep breath, smell, touch something. If you find anything edible, nibble it, close your eyes and listen. 

A bare hand presses against the rough bark of a tree
reach out and touch your surroundings

Spark a Memory

Then come back to this device and jot a phrase or two in the comments about what you saw, heard, smelled, felt, tasted. At least one thing, but three may make a greater difference for you. Prof. Miles Richardson has “found writing down three good things in nature each day for a week led to sustained increases in nature connection –  and that increase was linked with improvements in psychological health.”

Maybe someone else reading this will have a memory sparked by your sharing. Then we can be like the first drops of rain landing on the ground, before the whole of it is wetted and the water dimpled with a showering of shared sensory descriptions. 

Drops of rain make rings in an irregular puddle amongst rocks and mud.
Rain drops into puddle in mud and rocks

Are you in?

I went outside once already this morning before coming back inside to start kitchen chores. Then I noticed the light slanting through the cedars next door and returned to the garden to sniff and pluck for breakfast. I took a little time for thyme. As soon as this is posted, I’ll be out there again . 

Sprigs of Thyme leaves on stem in sunlight.
Fresh picked thyme sprig

Join me, won’t you?

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