LENTEN BLOG #17
It’s amazing what you see when you look up from your blue screen…
Our children’s sporting events have taken us to baseball fields, swimming facilities, cross country courses, soccer fields and mountain bike trails all over the state. As we drive, I frequently remind the kids to take in their surroundings, identify landmarks, and appreciate the landscape. Really, all I do is holler, “Look out the window!”
The other day as I drove my son to his baseball game, we chatted about the rise and fall of our NCAA brackets, whether we had packed enough Goldfish Crackers, and his latest science test.
I pointed out a sprawling patch of daffodils dripping gold over the side of the highway, a splintered billboard with faded lettering, and a well-preserved one-room schoolhouse which stood with solidity and character smack in the middle of a cemetery. “Yep,” he said, as I pointed out each one, “I saw it last time we drove here.” He continued, “Yeah when we passed the school house I wondered why it was in the middle of a cemetery.” We made a chicken and the egg reference and continued to the field.
I was happy he saw the world in real time rather than through a screen.
On our family road trips in the ’70s and ’80s, I sat in the off-kilter center seat of our big white station wagon. The middle spot between Mom and Dad which even with just a lap belt felt safe because of my seatmates. I was in charge of the little tiny Kleenex box on the dashboard and securing the trash bag on the lighter.
As we traveled from New Mexico to Arizona, Las Vegas, Disneyland, the Grand Canyon or wherever we could, we’d sing, and play car games. Trips were always peppered with bickering as expected with four girls, so in pinch, mom or dad would hit the On the fly parenting button and come up with contests. My favorite was, “The first person to see a deer will get an ice cream cone!”
As we peered out our windows, searching for the deer, we were treated with scenes of bison, prairie dogs, elk, and antelope. Our vision focused more on the topography and less on the confines of the station wagon, even though we had the roomy way, way back. Ultimately, we all got ice cream.
As they say, technology is a blessing and a curse. (“they” might be my mom)
Today it’s tricky to teach children to yank out the headphones and lift their gaze. Perhaps we peered out of our car windows more growing up because we didn’t have anything to look down to.
Bottom line: our lives are going to zoom by whether we’re ready or not, so while you can roll the window down, let the wind hit you in the face and soak up your surroundings.
Spiritual Workout: 5-minute meditation. Clear your mind. Just 5 minutes.
Workout of the Day:
On your next drive, find a new trail to hike, walk or run.