It's a gift. In my life, I have had the opportunity to volunteer in many countries all over the world. And we can learn and be inspired by their example, their meaningful connection to life. For example, many developing nations are rich in the value of daily experience. While financially impoverished, they are wealthy in spirit. These people show us the importance of slowing down. They of spend significant, face-to-face time with family members. They build community. And they take time to celebrate people, occasions, or history important to their culture.
Equally important–and one of my favorites–is being directly connected to the earth. For example, many people in emerging nations grow their food, and engage with the earth directly. Often we now go to grocery stores for our fruits and vegetables. And what this does is separate us from the process of nature. We don't understand the investment of time and energy, of seeing plants grow, or cherish the accomplishment of hard work to produce a vegetable from a simple seed. It may be in the name of efficiency, but we are literally “jumping over” important life lessons. It’s so valuable when we can slow down and fully experience the natural world.
Perhaps, like me, you live in a place where it’s not always easy to make that connection. There are limited opportunities for growing a vegetable garden in San Francisco. But still, there are parks, trees, beautiful pieces of nature all around us…and we can take the time to appreciate them and nurture their existence.
Then, too, there is the importance of connecting through how we use our time. I try to walk as much as I can when going to work, running errands… There are so many positive interactions I have with people and nature, when I pay attention to the world around me. I can appreciate the blue sky or really experience the differing winds of San Francisco. If you are still....you may hear a thin whistling wind; a low blustering wind which may whip about you, and the low hollow sound of a ‘flute’ type wind.
Nature, in all its elements, impresses and moves us when we are silent.