We celebrate summer, the time of growth, with an issue packed full of beautiful, insightful, and thought-provoking writing; photography about life, the daily moments near us, and an interview with a farmer.
As life continues to accelerate and we become more integrated with technology, what does it mean to be living?
I watch the pond in our backyard for hours, at different times of the day, through everything that nature throws at me. The activity of many creatures – ducks, red-winged blackbirds, muskrats, and ravens – follow the amount of sunlight, moonlight, rain, snow, and other influences. This world of nature, of beings interacting directly with their environment, involves adaptation and a survival instinct for themselves and their offspring. They have a path and a purpose.
At a moment before the sun reaches over the treetops, my only thought is of nothing. All of the sounds emerging from this pond cover me like my Winnie the Pooh security blanket from childhood, and I am able to let go. At that moment, I feel something that has become foreign, that has become elusive – peace. It has taken time, experience, patience, awareness, and the desire to grow and change, to get here. And the journey is still on going.
What is living?
We are born into this world with a physical body and metaphysical being of a mind and a soul. These pieces come together and create the human that learns to crawl, walk, and exist within the space. That path is comprised of many strings, and each string has many threads. At any point, we can jump from one string to another, and from one thread to the next and the life we experience changes. This jump can be a conscious choice, influenced and caused by the environment, or a shove. How we react to that change determines the experience and how we live. Do we embrace change, or run from what is unfamiliar? And what do we take away from that change?
What is living then?
Each experience is the chance for growth. Whether we initiate the change and take control or react to what we find and against all odds, blind to outcomes, we forge ahead, we can continue to build the person we are now, and who we are growing into. Through questioning and cultivation, we find the person within that has always been there, that we were born with. Living is being our true self, becoming our true self, and choosing to grow.