Saturday, December 1, 2012


If you don't miss the feathering whisper of wind across your skin, this post is not for you.

If you don't turn your face up toward the warmth of sunshine on a cool spring day, then this post is not for you.

If you don't feel a smile snaking its way around your lips when the Earth presses up against the soles of your feet as you walk over grass or beach or woody path, then this post is not for you.

If this post is for anyone, it is for people like me who at the end of the day or week or month feel overrun by technology, worn out by the draw of TV, music via satellite, email, ereaders, computers, and those colorful animated programs that keep our eyes glued on a screen and our feet planted on a floor, indoors more often than not.

It seems like the overwhelming joy I feel when I take a walk outside should not always feel so OVERWHELMING. I should not feel such bliss. I should not feel so suddenly relaxed. Perhaps if I took time to step away from everything I'm "plugged" into, then it seems that a simple walk would not seem so monumental. In fact, it seems such walks SHOULD NOT seem monumental at all. Isn't the outdoors--what lies outside of the office, the house, the car--an inherent part of living? Are we not still part of the world around us? If so, then why do a I feel a resounding reconnection with the world when I wander out into it?

Obviously, I don't get out enough. I know the same holds true for others. There are others who are more "plugged in" than I am, and none of it seems quite right when I step back and take in an UNPLUGGED view.

When I was younger, I spent the majority of my time outdoors. When I was younger, most of my life was unplugged. I felt cut-off from "living" when I spent too much time inside. Today, finding "freedom" from the barriers of technology is found by taking a simple walk. But when I was younger, finding freedom literally meant pushing the limits until I was racing the wind. It wasn't found by simply walking outside, because that connection was already establishing on a daily basis. My freedom, my sense of pushing the envelope on what it means to live was found on top of a horse, running at full gallop across a long field with another endless field in sight. During those moments, living seemed to lie in boundless opportunity stretching out before me--all I had to do was run fast enough to catch it.

I miss those days when I was continually connected to the pulse of the Earth. When I wasn't plugged into anything but myself, my friends, my family, and life unfolding around me.

Technology can be wonderful. It can bridge connections. It can deliver images of coastlines, forested jungles brimming with life, and emails from loved ones at the touch of a button. But it can't deliver the feathers of wind whispering across my skin or the warmth of the sun flickering in and out of shadows. It can't deliver life in all five senses--or the six or seven I want to believe exist. That requires the devices, the gizmos, the pretty colorful screens to be unplugged. And to do that takes only the touch of a button.

So help me out here? Am I alone in this type of thinking? Does anyone else ever feel the need to unplug? (Never mind the fact that I'm typing this onto my fully plugged, fully charged screen.)


  1. Hi, Shaunda. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. I love my technology; however, I realize as I walk past my covered back yard patio furniture or happen to catch part of a sunset that I am missing something. I've been trying to work my day job and squeeze in this writing thing, but how long am I willing to work all of these hours at the expense of missing out on a lot that may very well prove to be far more important. I just strolled past some of my trees only to find that the beautiful leaves I noted last week are completely gone today. It would have been great to sit amongst them a bit more than I did.
    It's definitely something to contemplate.


  2. It's tough to balance work and "free" time when we are pulled in so many directions. Especially as writers who are also balancing family and careers, and still trying maintain some sort of down-time. Thanks so much for stopping by. Your new book is only a couple months old, isnt it? And last I checked it was doing well. Congrats on that accomplishment!

  3. Great post! I completely agree and especially try to unplug my family once in a while so they can experience life rather than watch it happen on a screen. Thanks for sharing,

  4. im in maine so i feel connected to the earth and the outdoors it is soi beautiful and cleansing people get caught up too much these days with themselves and technology, very nice post nice to read thnaks (:

    1. Maine is wonderful. I have enjoying hiking, camping and canoeing there. Thank you for the great reminder of a great place!


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