And when we finally do step outside our doors to enjoy nature and get some exercise we do so by plugging in to ipods and mp3 players that bombard our senses with tunes and audiobooks that distract us from simply being engaged in our own lives. We miss the life around us. It would seem to me, that much of what we do to make our world more relaxing and calming is actually more of an attempt to distract us and bring separation to our lives. This type of distraction can actually have quite the opposite effect. In many cases we feel far more isolated as a society and much further removed from one another just by attempting to make our homes, land and personal space more oasis-like. Rather then finding the peace that we seek it can actually make us feel more tense and disconnected.
Since my world too, is much as described above, I do find that leaving the ipod at home and just walking in nature is far more soothing to my senses. And watching the animal life that abounds around me puts me more in touch with the natural rhythm of life.
Recently, on one of my many walks, I noticed an abundance of robins that were feeding near a stream down the road from my house. Each subsequent day there appeared more, and more of them. Quite frankly, I always feel that spring is not far off when I see them. Somehow I cannot describe to you the lightness those robbins brought to my step and the smile that engaged my face as a result. They literally take me back to my youth and the following song that my folks used to listen to on a Mitch Miller album from the sixties. Any of you old enough to remember this little ditty?:
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob bobbin' along, along,
There'll be no more sobbing when he starts throbbing
His own sweet song.
Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head,
Get up, get up, get out of bed,
Cheer up, cheer up the sun is red,
Live, love, laugh and be happy.
What if I've been blue,
Now I'm walking through fields of flowers,
Rain may glisten, but I still listen for hours and hours.
I'm just a kid again, doing what I did again, singing a song,
When the red, red robin comes bob, bob bobbin' along.
So, I encourage you all to try and turn off the ipods more and truly notice what is around you when you run, jog, walk or just work out in nature. Try to see with your eyes the signs of life that are all around you, and if you live in a more urban locale, try to find a way to connect with nature in a park or just wrap up in blanket and just gaze at the stars now and again. I know this is not always so easy and believe me I know only too well how we have been so conditioned to think it is impossible or not necessary to do this. There are no "right or or wrongs" in nature, it simply is what it is, and the more we connect to this universal truth the more focused and authentic our lives can become.