Guess who I heard from yesterday? Jeff “Foliage” …who shows wide-eyed tourists where to find the best New England fall leaves each autumn. More about this at the bottom of the post…but here is his email address that connects you to his amazing articles he has written.
Every morning when I walk down the front porch steps it looks like the pansies have grown another inch at least in the barrel in the front yard….They are loving the cooler/colder temperatures at night with bouts of showers mixed in…it is their kind of habitat! They instinctively know the direction to grow… up…don’t we wish we had the same built-in radar to tell us which way to grow spiritually?
Humans are a part of nature….from animals to plants…we are all connected and for thousands of years we used this inner knowledge to maneuver around our home planet. Nature was our compass and our map. Explorers followed the stars and constellations with their compasses pointed North…indigenous peoples (around the world) followed their “nature” culture to tell time by the sun and shadows, or morning bird callings or blooms opening on certain plants during the day. Each segment of nature gave time and directions to humans aware of their power.
Sadly today GPS is robbing us of these ancestral skills that guided us for generations… as far back as we can track. *True confession…I haven’t even turned my GPS on (“Surcie”) my new car. I figured I got along this long without it…I can continue. (Of course if I was driving in a new place or a large city I feel sure I would learn how to work it quickly enough)…but for my every day life the only thing I have used, so far, is my back-up reflector. (And even this I don’t entirely trust…I still keep turning my head around looking both ways.)
Aylie Baker, in her article “Signals Even GPS Cannot Detect” (Awakin.org) makes this observation.
“It’s scary to think about stepping back from these instruments, scary because stepping back might mean admitting that we never really learned where we are. For most of human history, this question has run like an umbilical cord to the core of who we are—and anyone who has been lost knows the waves of discomfort, fear, shame, guilt, loneliness, and longing that rise up in the face of not knowing.
Wayfinders are always reminding their students that each of us is capable of picking up signals that even the most powerful GPS could never detect. And we do, all of us, moment by passing moment. How ironic that we’ve designed wayfinding instruments and climate-controlled environments that shut out the many forces that are there, waiting to guide us. Humidity, vibration, shadows, birdsong—they reach out to us in every moment, silently imploring us to remember that we are—all of us, always—life responding to life.”
I experienced this first-hand about a week ago….I had gotten directions from Susan how to get to her new home for the birthday party for Lee the other Sunday. The directions were clear and concise…I wrote them down and went right there without any problems.
The next day Brooke came to visit and I took her to ride by Susan’s house to show her where she lived and got there, once again, pretty much from memory and back out again without a ‘hiccup.’
If I had used GPS and just listened to a woman’s voice telling me to Turn Right, now Turn Left…I wouldn’t have paid any attention to the landmarks that I memorized the night before. To me it is actually scary to think we are turning over the built-in directions in our lives to a voice coming from some hard drive off in a desert somewhere. There certainly is a place and time for GPS ….just not all the time.
So until tomorrow…As Katie Johann commented back from Aylie Baker’s article…
“Thank you very much for this article, Aylie. I had an experience many years ago, when driving through LA, with GPS, and realizing its effect on me. Just that, the sense of being completely lost without this phone, and if I had started my journey without it, I would have had a sense of where I was. I think that GPS is only a small fragment of one large subject; our disconnection from nature. So many do not realize that we are, in fact, nature.
“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh
*Nature is definitely telling me that life goes on because all my plants intuitively know what to do and in what direction to go. I am envious!
***Back to the Wonderful News Guess Who I heard from yesterday! Jeff “Foliage”! Remember how I told his story from a CBS Sunday Morning Show on the fall foliage in the New England states in the blog post (November 5) “Looking for Fall in All the Right Places”?)
He wanted to give me his official email address in case anyone would like to contact him and read his articles that are available on his website.