Friday, June 21, 2013

Staying Connected

I had an upsetting experience last week ... I lost my internet connection ...FOR 3 DAYS! I had people talking me through resetting my modem, checking all my connections, trying to ditch my cookies (what are those things anyway, and what purpose can they possibly serve?). I ended up dragging my 7 year old laptop, (made before they became lightweight so we're talking about 10 lbs here), to the library so I could get out our Unity group's weekly newsletter and this blog. As luck would have it, Blogger was also having some issues last week so getting my blog out was also a challenge. Then I dragged everything back home and just sat for a while ... in silence ... doing nothing... except thinking.

I started thinking about how I had let myself become so addicted to my computer that I had stopped being connected to the rest of the world, both the outer world and the inner world. Even the books that I read were all digital. I called the internet provider, who was very nice and didn't speak to me as if I were a technically challenged senior citizen, and was advised it would be late afternoon before a technician could get to me. So I made myself an ice coffee, opened a real book, sat by my window overlooking the bird feeder, and read. No e-mails, Facebook, blogs, newsletters, Google searches, weather reports, online book sales (do they have a recovery group for that?), political discussions ... just reading. A real book. About gardening.

Reading that book, in that setting, reminded me about being connected in a different way. I remembered the feeling I got whenever I was on my knees in my garden back home digging in the dirt, pulling out weeds or planting something new. I touched the ground and felt the Earth's heartbeat. I was connected to everyone and everything in that moment. Even now, when I allow myself to step back and be in the moment, to breathe deeply, smell the trees, the rain, the grass, and listen to bird song outside my window, or stop what I'm doing to watch a flock of geese move across the sky on their way to the river, I am connected to the heartbeat of the Earth as well. Whenever I pull myself away from the view of life from a computer screen and view it from the Universal Screen, I am connected to everyone and all that is.

I'm not saying we should ditch the wonders of technology. They have certainly made our lives not only easier, but more exciting. It is wonderful to be connected to people and places all over the world and to have the world's knowledge at our fingertips. But if we forget to stay connected to ourselves and the world we live and move in every day, we are not living from our authentic selves.  When we are so busy looking down at our iPhones that we miss a baby's smile, or a beautiful flower, or a sky so brilliantly blue it makes us wish we could fly, then we are disconnected from the world that matters. David Whyte said, "give up all the worlds except the one to which you belong." I'm not saying that we should all pull the plug and walk away from technology. I'm saying that we should let it serve us, but not imprison us. Remember to take time every day to check your connection to the Earth's heartbeat. It's a beat you can dance to forever.

P.S. Cody, the sweet and talented young man who came and fixed my internet connection (problem at the box outside, not with the technically challenged senior inside), renewed my hope in the concept of a kinder, gentler species of repairmen!

And so it is.