Friday, May 7, 2021

Day 7: Zooming and Demasiado

Yesterday began with losing something important and spending a couple of frantic hours trying to find it. Finally, I gave up and settled for a make-do replacement, only to then have the original lost item show up … exactly where I had put it. Life offered me a metaphorical lesson about slowing down, however, I opted to make up lost time and sped through a kaleidoscope of stunning sea scapes and a thousand-shades-of-green trees that deserved a life-time of appreciation.

Crab catcher at MacKerricher State Park 

And, one he didn't catch


My eyes are full of the incredible splendor of this part of the world, but I’m starting to wonder if I’ve zoomed past what I wanted. Zoom is the verb of our time. The short-cut, make-do, safe-way to meet, learn, share information, connect. And, it works. Tasks get done; ideas get shared; we go about our business. But something is lost in that efficient, streamlined, fluff-less engagement. 

I’m beginning to think that, in all this zooming, I’ve missed what I was actually yearning for ... a deeper understanding of and connection to nature. 

Pacific Trillium

Recently I’ve been reading about some of the great naturalist/scientists … Darwin, von Humboldt, Banks. They all made voyages of discovery: years-long, hazardous journeys of observing and experiencing the worlds they were exploring.  I'm reminded of one of my favorite words from Mexico: demasiado … too much. While I never heard it used, Google Translate says the words for too little are demasiado poco.

Clouds of insight are gathering on the horizon of my mind hinting that this trip of exploration has actually been a dance of demasiado and demasiado poco. Too many miles, too much beauty whizzing by at seventy miles per hour, too much data gathered from information road signs, too little understanding gained from direct contact, too much carbon poured into an exhausted environment, too many dollars spent on comfort, too little time spent observing and listening to nature. 

I’ve called this trip an “exploration” of Northern California when it could more rightly be called clean sheets and hot showers sight-seeing.  

The question now is, how will I slow down today? Perhaps this photo taken at a stop on the Avenue of the Giants offers a metaphor ...hopefully, not a reality.

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