“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived” (Henry David Thoreau, Walden).
Sometimes I think Thoreau had the right idea. Lately, I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information coming at me from every direction at literally every waking moment. I deliberately stay away from watching any kind of news programs, yet I still feel like I’m drowning in a flood of images and stories, mostly tragic and sad.
Every now and then, it’s good to get away from all things electronic and technological. Every once in a while, it’s good to lose yourself in the beauty of nature and drink in deeply the silence of the woods.
I love Radnor Lake State Park because it is as close to Eden as I can get these days. It’s as close as I can get to how we used to be before we became social media junkies, craving the next Instagram or Facebook fix. I saw a woman walking through Radnor with nature in full bloom all around her who would not look up from her phone. That’s a sad commentary on what we value and where our priorities lie.
Nature has a way of resetting the default on our brains to where they’re not always running like a computer with 50 tabs open at the same time. I still believe that nature is a place where we can better hear the voice of God, away from the distracting noise and clatter that constantly demands our attention.
I think I could live in a place like Walden Pond for a year or more. I could use a break from all the media madness. Maybe I’ll settle for reading the book.