When you’re retired, every day can seem like every other day, but the truth is, I’ve never been busier. And that “retired” mess is a lie. I’m still working. I’m teaching online courses, and I’m trying to keep up with some writing. I’m on a couple of local committees that demand an awful lot of time from me (in a good way), and I travel a bit giving talks and retreats.
My to do list is longer now than when I was working full-time and had kids at home.
When a friend called to get me out of the house and into some fresh air, I jumped at the chance. We had an adventure at a friend’s horse farm. It was the perfect distraction, and the perfect afternoon in the country.
Because of my husband’s illness, we’ve done a lot of research on the importance of blue space. Apparently, living near water is good for your mental health. I’ll take it! Most of you have seen my sunrise pictures from the bay.
But green space is also good. I love to get out to the rolling hills and see trees, and flowers, and beautifully mown acres of land. The horse farm was the perfect spot.
As an English major, I feel like I can come up with a story or a poem for any event, and “The World Is Too Much With Us” captures today’s mood perfectly.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune ….
That first part of the poem laments the mess we’ve created for ourselves in a consumer-driven world where everything is about materialism and getting and getting while wasting the beauty of the natural world. Although written around 1802, this poem resonates with me today. I’ve been guilty of watching “nature” programs on TV instead of going outside. What a statement of the times.
I’m blessed to have friends who can execute the occasional intervention.
The pull nature has on me is part of the natural order of things, an opportunity to worship God in His creation.
Nothing exists that does not owe its existence to God the Creator. The world began when God’s word drew it out of nothingness; all existent beings, all of nature, and all human history are rooted in this primordial even, the very genesis by which the world was constituted and time begun. (CCC 338)
I am reminded of this miracle when I get away from the man-made distractions that disconnect me from the beauty of creation. It is an opportunity to breathe. To stretch. To admire and praise the Lord God who made me and this beautiful landscape from the smallest blade of grass to the majestic trees that dot the landscape.
Where do you unplug?
Copyright 2019 Maria Morera Johnson