Imagine walking along an old pasture fence and you come across the sweet smell of a honey suckle.
This is a moment to cherish. When I smell one while I’m out for a walk in my woods I close my eyes, relax and enjoy the fragrance of that sweet precious vine. This is a time when I’m not checking emails, texts, or taking phone calls. Imagine a time when the only companion outside is a faithful dog; a time when you actually give your full attention to the moment instead of a device; a time when you’re not entangled in the world wide web and the spider of social media isn’t sucking precious free time from us. Can you see it? I have it in my memories. They’re located in a corner of my brain that sometimes gets dusted off when I get a whiff of a familiar fragrance of a honey suckle, a late afternoon rain or fresh cut grass. These smells were frequent aromas of mine when I was younger. They remind me of home.
When I was a young boy growing up in the 1970’s, all I had to occupy my time was my imagination and my two dogs. Their names were Duke and Prince. They were my shadows as all dogs I’ve ever owned have been. The only thing I had to worry about then was stepping on a sand spur while running bare foot and not getting caught deep in the woods where my mom told me not to go. She used to holler for me to come in and I wouldn’t answer her until I got out of the woods. I’m sure she knew, but she never let on that she did. I stayed outside all day. I would eat breakfast then my dogs and I would take on the world. We had adventures. We fought dragons, monsters and many armies trying to conquer the world. We always won. We always saved the world. I would snack on blackberries, honeysuckle, pecans, walnuts and would chew on sour weed until supper time. Duke and Prince liked the pecans and walnuts as much as I did, but they didn’t care for the other stuff. There was nothing to keep me from enjoying the outside. No other virtual world to take up my time. We lived in the moment whether it would be bad, good or magical. On Sundays, my family and other relatives would gather at our grandparents’ house to eat lunch. After we ate, we would play games on their long front porch. I would always seem to get a splinter in my foot from that porch. We had to watch out for hornets, bumble bees and wasps. For some reason they liked to fly up and down that front porch as much as I liked running up and down it. The house they lived in at the time was built in 1866. I loved that place. I could always find an arrowhead or piece of flint in the sandy part of the yard after a rain. In the garden area, we could sometimes find clay marbles. One time my dad was working on one of the chimneys inside the house and he found an 1810 silver dime. We talked about that for years and we occasionally will bring it up when my brothers and sisters get together. There were two old barns on the place that contained all kinds of old stuff. They were fun to play in and plunder through. I was living simple and enjoying life.
Today we are bombarded with information. We receive more information in one day than our grandparents did in one month. Too much information and feeling the need to know causes a stress in our lives that is completely unnecessary. According to research from RescueTime, one of several apps for iOS and Android created to monitor phone use, people generally spend an average of three hours and 15 minutes on their phones every day, with the top 20% of smartphone users spending upwards of four and a half hours.Aug 21, 2019.
I disconnect from the outside world a few times a week by purposely leaving my phone in the house. It helps me focus and get some quality time with nature. The older I get the more I appreciate the miracles of life and the beauty our Earth is filled with. The busier we are the more we miss in nature and the more we depend on someone else for the necessities of life. I haven’t watched the news media for over two months and I have noticed that I have an easy peaceful feeling now. The news media was creating an area in my life that I couldn’t see wasting my time on any longer. There is another side to our world that the media doesn’t tell you. Our world was created by my God for us all to enjoy. There is so much life and beauty in the world to cherish and appreciate that TV’s, the internet and phones can’t give. The simple forms of beauty are the most precious; such as how flowers get their color or like planting a seed and watching it turn into a gorgeous flower, a vegetable or a huge tree. It’s absolutely amazing how a seed reacts when you add it to soil and water. How does a honey bee pollinate a garden and then uses nectar to create honey? The answer to that question is a simple form of beauty and life, but indeed a true miracle.
Well, I’m not getting rid of my cell phone and I’m not suggesting you do either. I am asking that you try to limit the time you’re on it. I have made some accomplishments since I quit wasting my time watching the news media and “forgetting” my cell phone occasionally. I’ve remodeled my kitchen; I’ve read a few books and have worked continuous for two months on my garden. Please, analyze the time you’re on an internet connected device and think about the other tasks you could be accomplishing. Time is something one can never get back. Reconnect with nature by growing a garden, talk with family members, taking a walk or simply by reading a book outside. Take time to smell the honey suckle. You never know when that sweet fragrance may come across your walk in the woods. I hope you enjoyed this article. Remember to “Live Simple.. Enjoy Life”.