I Have Been Away
I have been away from the internet for over four days. It is kind of a revelation to realize just how dependent I am on this connectivity to the rest of the world. I was in the Panhandle of Texas to collect some vegetation data for work and spent the better part of the time hauling my aging body up and down 200 foot or greater - 45 degree slopes. I discovered a lifetime of experiences while there and hope to write some about them over the next few days. In some ways, I suffered the depths of hell (in a physical sense) and the joy of heaven in a series of adventures. The good always seems to come with the bad. But the question is – do we choose not to accept the bliss because we don’t want to take on the pain? Or does the contrast between the two make the joy seem even more precious. I don’t have an answer for that but all I know is that life seems to be offering me lots of joy and I know it is always there for the ‘taking’. I truly believe that you can practice this and get better at it!
I gave up television last winter and thought that being able to watch it in my hotel each night would be a pleasant experience. What I found was that I could take it or leave it. It really doesn’t hold my attention anymore. The sitcoms were so contrived that I felt no connection with the story lines. The incredible experiences that I was seeing on my hikes out in the wilds of Texas were far more real and satisfying. For instance, have you ever seen a prickly pear cactus growing out of a hackberry tree? I’m not talking about growing out of a tree near the ground but growing out of a tree about 5 feet off of the ground.
These kinds of observations are what attracted me to being a field biologist. The beauty and unique strangeness of mother-nature never ceases to amaze me, whether it is in the wilds of Texas or on the mountain where my suburban housing development sits. Indeed, now I can say, everything I needed to know I learned in the wilds of Texas.