I love technology. I've loved it for as long as I can remember. I lust after the latest gadget and adapt to them so quickly it irritates my friends and family.
Simultaneously, I have a love affair with rustic life, nature and roughing it. I can start a fire with damp logs in the rain and build a shelter out of found materials before the sun sets. I can read the tides, bake bread and weave on a loom.
I need both. I also need balance.
Lately I've been experiencing more digital than nature. It's just the way of my life at the moment. The things I have to do must be done on a screen. The earlier sunset means there's no light for an after-work walk.
After two migraines in a week I realized it was time to get back in balance. I threw some essentials into my emergency road trip backpack (always stocked with an extra toothbrush, hand sanitizer and energy bars) and told the dog to load up.
Four hours later we were in the foothills of the Sierras. The phone lost service, the light got clearer and the air smelled great. We were 'away'.
I found myself in the kind of quiet I don't hear anymore. A stream bubbled outside, the wind whispered. I slowed down. I sat on the small porch with the dog and we both just listened. My thoughts slowed and finally stopped. For some fine time I just was.
I spent less than twenty-four hours without connection and I have more stories to tell than after a week in my digital life.
If you have the means (and it doesn't take much) spend a day away from all of this modern-ness. Unplug for a weekend. Look at the way the light plays with the shadows. Let your thoughts slow until they stop.