Growing up in Chicago, I took for granted the power that nature can serve in providing much needed clarity in the light sped muddle that often passes as our lives. That is not to say that Chicago was absent of natural splendor, the beauty that is showcased in the parks and the lakefront is without equal.
But, you always know that you are in Chicago, with the sounds of the city often looming in the background, larger than life. When I relocated to the East coast, my first visit to one of state parks was a surreal experience. I likened it to a visit to another planet, as it was my first time being privy to total isolation from the sounds of modern convenience and hearing her; Mother Nature, without filters.
The absence of the ever-present din of the urban jungle was nothing short of invigorating. I found myself being able to empty the burdens, stress and toxicity of the weekly grind during my deep dive into the arms of nature. The absence of the external audio clutter and sensory overload lead me into a greater appreciation of being alone with my thoughts, but more importantly I began to grasp a fuller concept of time and how we relatively have so little of it.
Could it be that I’m obsessed with the concept of time or it is a matter of me having to make sense of what has befuddled humanity for ages? Perhaps it is because I realize that we are living on borrowed time and that making each moment that we have, while we have it, count.
One the most existential obsessions of humanity has been the quest for immortality.… As for me, I don’t want to live forever; but while I’m here I do want to accomplish what I feel I was sent here to do. I wear the relationships that I’ve cultivated with the people that I’ve met during my travels on my sleeve, why? Because throughout my life and especially since I’ve gotten older, I have developed the innate ability to realize, appreciate and savor the roles that people have played in my life and how they have enhanced and pushed me to levels that I would not have achieved otherwise. That being said, I couldn’t bear the thought of not being able continue on this twisting path of what passes as “life” without them.
Is that to say the prospect of immortality is boring? I think that the answer to that would be a resounding, yes! The best part about our time on this planet is sharing it with the people in our lives the friends, family and the like, as they serve as the seasoning on what could otherwise be a bland journey of sorts.