Recently, I’ve began to feel as though I’ve been living in Zombie land. Many workers spend 8 – 10 hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen. Much of our children’s school day is also spent in front of a computer. Almost all of us, even children, now carry a virtual computer in our hands at all times. Phones aren’t even phones anymore but multi functional computers.
In any situation, walking through the mall, walking the streets, at parks and even at family gatherings, the predominant view is people walking or sitting, heads down and focused on their phones. When they aren’t, they are either staring mindlessly at a television screen or playing a video game.
Whether it’s to escape the stresses of everyday life, a constant need for mental stimulation or the perceived illusion of maintaining relationships via social media…..we are missing it. We are missing real life, real relationship and the everyday wonders that are all around us.
A purposeful day….out of the land of the walking dead and into the land of the living.
Rising from our slumber, we greeted our dogs with all the love and excitement of long lost friends instead of turning on the morning news. (Yes, although they sleep in the very same room with us, they act as if they haven’t seen us in ages.) Clay, knowing just how I like my coffee, made two cups and handing me mine, we took them outside to the deck.
I noted how long it has been since we’ve done this. Our mornings have become silent between us, sitting in the darkened livingroom, he, watching the news for the daily dose of depression and I, obliviously in my phone. Shoulder to shoulder we stood at the edge, he wrapping his arm around my waist and looking out over the lake.
The morning was fair with a light cool breeze and we watched as the world around us came alive with the rising of the sun. The chipmonks began to scurry around the yard, the tiny wood duck paddled by with her 3 babies in tow and redheaded woodpeckers, flitted from branch to branch.
Returning inside, Clay began breakfast, making us bacon, spinach & cheese omelets while I fed the dogs and dressed for the day. In the absence of the television, we ate our breakfast together and with vibrant conversation.
Wanting to include our dogs in the venture, we loaded them into the van and drove to the park. Being mid week, the park was ours alone and our dogs could be freed to run in wild abandon. Once their zest and energy was spent, we settled into a long, gentle stroll. Along our walk, I determined to truly experience the moments, taking into account… the warmth of the sun, the feel of Clay’s hand in mine, the cool of the breeze and how that if the color green had a fragrance, this would be it.
Once we returned home, the spoiled ones were ready for air conditioning and a nap and while they did, I remained outside. I discovered that when you look up, look around, look closer, there is beauty and wonder, EVERYWHERE, as close our own back yards.
Explore….. around my yard, I found a pile of fallen leaves, rich in color, fragile as old lace. Together, Clay and I gathered the remnants like the skeletal remains of autumns past and yet to come.
Experience….the play of light and shadow as the sun moves across the sky, the vibrant ever changing color and texture of our world.
Examine….Look closer, examining the finest details and substance of things so wonderously created.
In short, dear Friends, do not content yourselves to merely exist, zombie walking through life nor to be a only a witness to it, rather, examine, explore, experience and above all, live it.