I have spent the past week far from home. Not only far from my cottage by the sea, but also my usual schedule, and my usual way of being, and all the little things that make up the familiar kind of day. We have been wandering forests and canoeing ancient rivers and watching the sun set over quiet farm fields. It was a beautiful, peaceful time, and I can not honestly say that I'm entirely happy to be home.
My posts here over the week were all pre-scheduled, because I didn't think I would have internet access. Turns out, I managed about ten minutes a day. This was quite a struggle, but not in the way I'd been anticipating. I didn't really miss being socially connected - it was the disconnection from information that I found hard. From weather forecasts, telephone numbers, maps, utility bills, answers to random questions - just about everything resides online now. Spending a week without it felt like a disadvantage and tested my patience.
But that was a small thing, easily forgotten in the moments when I stood in wonder at the beauty surrounding me. The ancient trees. The cormorant rising from silent black waters deep within hills. The fields of cotton and caravan dreams. You know, the internet has never prevented me from enjoying such things. It has perhaps kept me from housework, and spoiled my concentration for sewing - but I was raised when the world was wild, and telephones were clanky clattery things that didn't always work quite right, and I see the internet as a tool to be picked up, rather than a frame through which I can view the world. I like having it. And I don't think it necessarily ruins our apprectiation of real life - we should attribute that to our own inner attitude.
The one time I felt I wasn't able to really be in the world was when I was actually out in it - riding through countryside on a bicycle. The people I was with were zooming along, whereas I would have prefered to go slow, drinking in the scenery, taking photographs, stopping for a picnic or two along the way, talking about what I was seeing. Technology was not the problem. Infact, if I'd had an internet-connected phone with me, I might have tweeted about the loveliness, and shared photographs, and used that technology to be even more in the beautiful moment. It's not about the tools we have. It's about how we choose to be in the world.
Having said that, I've been online too long now, and I'm going off to do my housework!
linking with sweet shot tuesday and one world