Now I see the secret of making the best persons: It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth. Walt Whitman
Summertime is my favorite time ‘to grow in the open air.’ Mostly I’ve been camping with my horses on nearby parcel of Bureau of Land Management Land where the area’s steep ridges serve as fences. I can camp without putting up fencing and let the topography and the abutting private fencing do the trick.
It’s quiet. Actually, it’s pretty noisy with bird calls, but little else.
Before cell phones and the Internet, we could get away like this without any thought of being ‘out of pocket’ or ‘unplugging’ or ‘unavailable and out of cell range.’
Now, getting away is either extra cool or extra inconvenient, depending on the person. The electronic leash has wormed its way into our psyches and intellect.
First and foremost, ‘getting away’ (camping, backpacking, horse riding, etc.) is now seen as a deliberate breaking away from connectivity. Actually enjoying the backcountry seems secondary in many people’s minds. It’s like we don’t have the mental tenacity to disconnect when otherwise we could be connected. We need the connectivity to fail us because we’re too feeble-minded to disconnect on our own.
Once that happens, though, we give ourselves permission to relish the surroundings. We give ourselves a hall pass to being present.
Will we enjoy the wilderness less when connectivity reaches us there, too?