Choose and Soften

Vacation Reflections: Nature and Technology

I spent eight days in Mexico in March. It was a desperately needed "disconnect" with rest and solo time with my sweetheart without the demands of our "regular" lives. We sat on the beach and watched the endless in and out of the ocean waves beating upon the shore like a steady heartbeat. We had fun speaking our best broken espaƱol. We had cerveza and guacamole by the pool. We shopped for frutas y verduras from the local produce truck. We kayaked a lovely estuary. We surfed the long wave at Saladita (well, Damon did!). We napped, a LOT!

And, we had wi-fi access. We had a "connection" to the place I call Not Here Not Now. I spend a lot my regular life in this place (I am as I write this.) Most poignant for me during this trip was the very palpable physical and emotional  sensation of disconnecting that occurred whenever I got online. It felt especially noticeable in a place where we had to communicate in a different language. It was a bit distressing.

One of my greatest take-aways from this vacation was learning to becoming aware of the influence of choosing to "connect" to technology on my feelings, actions, behaviors, even beliefs. Having access to the world outside our immediate surroundings was both reassuring and devastating. How quickly I was no longer here, now. But also, how quickly I could connect to a loved one not with me. 

Have you seen this recent TED Talk about bionic technology? I recommend wading through the whole thing; there's lots to consider and bad jokes to endure, but it gets to the heart of the matter around 15:00. Technology is valuable in many ways, as it can help us connect back to our humanness. And, I must remind myself daily that while its value can be strikingly clear in videos like the one above, it also removes me from softening into the lessons of nature. Lessons I want and need to learn. I want to feel and experience what becomes imprinted on me when I spend time in the here and now: in the dirt, amongst the plants, my nose filled with essence of flowers, humid air and wood smoke with the time and space to simply observe, following one bird's purpose with my eye and attending to the details of the earth as she nurtures and provides -- day in, day out. 

Boogie boarding on Troncones Beach, Mexico. March 2014.