This weekend I was lucky to experience a moment from my past and it made me realize how much we have come to rely on a life that is "automatic." My sprinkler system went out and I didn't have time (or inclination) to repair it. So, I picked up the hose and for the next 30 minutes watered my lawn. It brought to memory my childhood of watching my dad stand in the front yard watering our lawn. He did this on a regular basis and you could tell by the contented look on his face that he was enjoying every drop of water as his mind wondered to places unknown. I found myself relaxing into the moment and was surprised by all the other blessings of the moment. A neighbor came out of their house and waved at me and I waved back. A car drove by and the driver smiled at me out his window. I smiled back. Children riding bikes down the sidewalk begged me to spray them. A hummingbird buzzed overhead and a grasshopper jumped out of a bush as I sprayed it with water. I realized it had been years since I had enjoyed the simple pleasures of my own front yard.
I noticed something else: I was relaxed. I felt a sense of peace that is nearly impossible to find within the confines of my home where the TV and computer consume most of the day. Even in my coming and going I have found that I rush through the day accomplishing tasks, chores, and completing my "to do list" before I get ready for the work week. This steals the moments away where I could be recalibrating my life. We think of "relaxing" in front of the TV, but there is something special in sitting on the patio with friends and family while the aroma of BBQ permeates the air. There is joy everywhere around us if we only step outside long enough to experience it.
Not long ago people didn't look to be entertained by technology. They went places and experienced life around them. They would walk through a forest of trees and look for wildlife. They would build campfires and roast Some-mores (Graham crackers with roasted marshmallows and chocolate bars), and they would tell stories. There was laughter and there was connection. There was peace and there was love. There was life. Step out of your front yard and take a moment to enjoy life.