Steve McEllistrem

The Devereaux Dilemma

The Connected World

When you finish reading this, go outside, preferably to a park or an undeveloped area away from the embellishments of humanity as much as you are able.

Inhale the aroma of pines and firs. Put your nose to a flower – any flower – and sniff. If there are no flowers, absorb the aromatic scent of a leaf, a mold, a fungus. Close your eyes and breathe deeply of the molecules of life.

Feel the wind brush your skin. Palm the grass. Touch a branch, the bark of a tree. Caress the bulges and valleys as you move your fingertips along the wood. Multiply the sensation by a billion, a trillion, more.

Open your eyes and study the sky, the clouds, stars or moon. Linger there for minutes as you discern the shapes, the edges, the contrasts between light and dark, the gradations of black or blue or white.

Dig in the soil with your hands – not deep – just enough to connect you to the earth. Scrape the clay or sand into your fingernails. Smell it. You belong to that place. You have become it as surely as it has built you.

Recline upon the ground like a statue. Close your eyes. Listen to the planet speak. Immerse yourself in the soughing breeze, in the chirps of chipmunks or crickets or tree frogs. Shift position. Hear your own movement intruding on the external.

You are more than a device attached to your phone, computer, tablet. You are not an app. You have transcended the technology that brought you to this moment. You are a god and a devil. You have the power for good and evil.

Like the bear, the lion, the shark. The ant, the fly, the bumblebee. The sparrow, the crow, the squirrel.

You need to be connected to the world electronically. That will not change soon. But you needn’t be connected solely through your screens. There are other ways to experience the multitude and magnitude of life surrounding us.

Remember, you are part of a greater whole. You are insignificant and completely necessary, a tiny fragment that when vanished, will never return, a piece of a puzzle we may never fully understand, but a thing of beauty nonetheless.

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