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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Looking Outward

My husband came in from outside with a loud,  "phew!"
"What's wrong?" I asked. I then saw that his tee-shirt was soaked with big spots of water.  It was raining outside.  Raining so hard that he wouldn't run to his car to drive it down to the barn.  I was surprised and remarked, "I guess I don't know what is happening outside if I don't look."

 Once I heard what I had said, it made lots of sense.  Ignorance is bliss, but am I really satisfied just knowing what is happening right where I am at the present time?   I don't think so.  It may be very nice where I am but there could be a storm brewing somewhere out there.  Someone else may be having very bad weather.

But I don't need to care.  As long as I am dry and comfortable I can be satisfied.
Of course I do want to pay attention to my local weather to be sure that the plants in my garden will be alright.  If it is hot and dry for too long I will have to be sure to water them.  Storms are important, too - if they are close by.  I might need to protect a tender new plant, or after a storm, I will need to clean up debris like limbs that have fallen on my plants and threaten their health.  But that is just right around me and in my garden.  I don't need to worry about what is going on outside my garden, do I?
 Well maybe I do.
When I walk outside my garden I do find young trees that could benefit by my cutting away climbing vines.  Sometimes I find a nest that needs to be marked so that it won't  succumb to a chainsaw or brushhog.  Maybe a muddy spot could use some grass seed to stop future erosion.  Drainage ditches should be dug out when they become full and blocked.
Williamstown WV residents raise money for cancer
I would never know these things if I didn't go beyond my garden.
Perhaps I can even look further into the world beyond my hill, beyond my community, beyond my part of the country and beyond all that is familiar.
There are things happening whenever I look.  There are things happening wherever I look.
Whole communities come together to raise money for cancer research and to encourage me to pay attention to cancer issues.

If I look beyond my garden to television, magazine and newspaper stories I can see what is happening throughout the world.

photo by Jesse Howard
There is a place in the ocean hundreds of miles across and over a mile deep that is solid floating plastic trash.   There is new sea life being discovered and places in the ocean that humans have never researched.  There are salmon that swim up waterfalls to be eaten by bears so intent on getting fat that they almost ignore throngs of humans gathered to watch them fish. (Sounds a bit like Ryan's Restaraunt or other all-you-can-eat places.)

walkers and old age won't stop some people from action.
There are children who spend their free time earning money to feed the hungry. There are old people helping to tutor school children or just getting together to enjoy each others' company. There are people restoring old buildings and old books, people learning and people teaching. There is alot going on out there.
The problem is that I need to look - to pay attention. I must not just watch the news while I eat supper, but to pay attention, to see what is behind the television stories. I need to look for more information when I see a one-page magazine article; find out just what is happening, look outside and see just what the weather really is like.
Because I guess I don't know what is going on outside if I don't look.

1 comment:

NCmountainwoman said...

Interesting and motivating post. We all do need to look outside our own little realm.