Monday, August 7, 2017

Look up

I had the rare moment last week to spend some one on one time with my oldest child. We were driving and sharing a delicious peach shake, passing it back and forth from front seat to back. The windows were down as we sang along to the radio until we came to a red light. And then my simple, quiet seven year old son looked at the driver next to us and said something so profound, "Mommy, why does everyone always stare into their phones. It's not like the whole world is in there.  They need to look up more."

We are going through life at such a rapid pace that I think as adults we don't notice it much, but if we take a moment to peer through the eyes of a child, it must look odd.  Sunsets, trees, old buildings, people and living in one of the most beautiful places in the world and so many are staring into a screen looking for fulfillment to jump out of a device.  We can't even sit at a stoplight taking in the view around us without so many feeling that pull to check text messages, email or some form of social media.  It hit me, convicted me and has stuck with me so much.

My kids are growing rapidly and I don't want snapshots posted to Facebook to ever overtake the feelings those memories give me when I close my eyes and can put myself right back into a place in the past where their smiles melted my heart or their cuddles made me feel right at home.  I don't want anyone to feel like they own my time and that their email demands time over what is happening around the supper table.  I hate the thought of my husband and I sitting side by side silently as we scroll through the lives of others and ignore the beauty our life provides.  

One thing I have gotten my kids to do is when we try a new or particularly delicious food, we close our eyes and try to distinguish the flavors and ingredients without our eyes. I want them to create a life filled with more knowledge from their own senses than from what the world is throwing at them. I want them to have the freedom that seems so rare to others as the world is becoming slaves to technology.  This week let's all take the time to appreciate the beauty around us, breathe in slowly, smells the roses and spend more time just looking up.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Something it seems only we have...

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and randomly ended up here in Hartsville for a summer in 2003. It seemed everyone I talked to here was so interested in getting out of dodge and checking out places like where I am from. For me, I felt like I had hit the jackpot in this two stoplight town.  I dreaded the end of that summer and having to leave this place.

I spent the next few years in Illinois working and starting college, all the while dreaming of Tennessee. What tugged at my heart the most? Those stars. Nowhere I had traveled had a sky quite like the one over Trousdale County.  It is the kind of sky that you look up and forget the rest of the world because you are so transfixed in that moment.

That sky drew me back in 2007 when I moved to Lebanon to finish my degree and while most of my friends at Cumberland University graduated and moved closer to wherever home was for them, I fell in love with my future husband and we both decided that after graduation, our life would continue in Tennessee.  We lived close to the school on a five year plan that turned into longer, busting our tails to make our dreams come true.  What was that dream? A humble country home on a piece of land under that sky that captivated us.

Here we have been for a year now with dreams having become reality.  As I write this, the moon is full and clear surrounded by a countless amount of stars that don't seem to be the same ones shining even just a city over.  The bugs and frogs are performing an orchestra and the air is rejuvenating my lungs after a busy day. This place is a slice of heaven on Earth. I know that you can find beauty anywhere you look for it, but I truly believe we don't have to look far at all for those of us who call Hartsville our home.