The Philadelphia area recently had a two-day span of summer-esque weath-hair. Everyone was freaking out and smiling and outwardly happy for the first time since, I’m guessing, September when we last had similar days of rays. Two days of full-on swamp ass, coming out of no where, followed by an equally-intense-out-of-the-same-vein swampy experience; a thunderstorm. I forgot about summer thunderstorms. I forgot how much I loved them. I forgot how necessary they are not only to my life, but to the life of the Earth. It is nature’s yin and yang in full-effect and I think that’s why I subconsciously gravitate towards [thunderstorms]. I need that balance of give and take, of heat and cool, of push and pull, of intensity and sedation just as much as nature does, and my ability to put that relationship into perspective has been so gratifying/awe-inspiring for me lately. But, despite all of my ‘isms, I still have my 21st-century moments where I lose that one-with-nature perspective and get lost in the constricted world that I choose to be a part of rather than the boundless world that is a part of me; i.e. fabricate technology, fabricated societal pressures, or fabricated internal fears vs. a living nature, the living stars, or the living universe.
Keeping all that in mind, picture an Anytown, USA warehouse with a dock and a tin roof as a prime vantage point for kicking back on some uprooted mini-van captain chairs to watch a thunderstorm roll through the night; vivid lightening strikes streaking through the sky, ginormous rolling thunder clouds, and the melodic sheets of rain pounding against an old tin roof. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It’s the first thunderstorm of the new year and there I am, head buried in my iPhone texting excitedly about the storm, frantically searching for my Camera App so I can then “watch” the storm through a 3-inch screen while recording it so I can send it to a friend some 1000’s of miles away, requiring me to re-bury my head back into a world that is something us humans made up. I was sharing the physical stormy experience with a good friend of mine, only he was actually experiencing it while I was just riding the bench. I missed a few sweet lightening episodes and I made it pretty obvious that I was annoyed with myself for paying more attention to my phone. So, I picked my head up a little more often, but each time I soon dropped my head back into my phone to miss yet another lightening strike, which was followed by more frustration. Hearing my sighs, a little birdie chimed in with, “See what happens when you forget about the world, JD?” Man. Yes! Perfect! I was immediately brought back into perspective, into what matters…. only to realize this would make a great blog post to go into my Notes App and add one more line to my “Blog Ideas” note, and, of course as irony would have it, I missed another great lightening strike. Can win ‘em all, right?
But, what happens when we don’t miss “the small stuff” like jaw-dropping lightening strikes and the beauty of the rain to cool off a humid night, and, instead, we miss a turn on the road… or ample time to study for an important test… or a chance to meet someone that could change your life… or to give someone your undivided attention and eyes in a conversation… or to even have the ability to hold a conversation in person? All because we get caught up in the world that isn’t real and in a world that we’re not biologically designed to be a part of.
See what happens when you forget about the world?
The world doesn’t give a shit about you, but you sure as hell should give a shit about the world. Full-on oblivion and a sack full of self-irresponsibility equate to missing a huge part of what life really is. No, it’s not the concrete and advanced world we have built, rather it is the stripped-down, the-soil-is-the-root-of-all-life world that we were born from. We are children of the Earth and the Earth is a child of the Stars. It’s not the Earth’s responsibility to take care of us, but you can bet your ass that it is our responsibility to take care of ourselves so we can then take care of the Earth. And it’s when we lose sight of that - when we lose sight of what is real, what is important, or what we are all a part of - is when we lose ourselves, when we lose our perspectives, when we lose our true meaningful existence, and the loss of the living, breathing, moving Earth and it’s infinite life forms are not too far behind.
I encourage you all, if you haven’t already, to discover the Earth and our place, our role, our contributions, our give and takes, our reciprocal responsibility atop this floating ball of life that is amongst an endless, living Universe. The world would be the same, if not probably better off, without us. But we would certainly not be the same without the world. Don’t ever forget it.
Thanks for the wake-up call, G.