I was reminded again yesterday that observation is key to maintaining awareness. I am not against technology, but all of the technological aids in our culture from smart phones and other personal aid electronics to specialization of career paths made possible through retail sales of anything anyone might want has caused us to stop observing the world around us. We may accept that climate change is real, but we don’t notice the little effects around us and only recall climate change during extreme weather events as if climate change is only over there where the flooding, fires, extreme rain or drought is happening. Then there are those who gratefully boast about the “good weather” instead of acknowledging that the lack of rain for nearly three weeks is a problem, likely because they are affluent enough that their lawn sprinklers come on twice daily and they have a municipal water source that is actively stealing the water table from nearby areas. They might observe that their little bubble is stable and protected, and never bother to drive a couple of miles outside their neighborhood to notice how unmanipulated nature is faring the lack of rain. Like the plant who hasn’t gotten a good drink, we coast through our daily lives. Leaves pale and flaccid, flowers weak in number and color and lasting only long enough for basic pollination. There but not thriving. Learning to observe everyday with intent for even ten minutes helps our awareness blossom. Observation breeds awareness and awareness triggers action. With awareness we consider how everything is connected and how the smallest things we do have an impact. Awareness will instill a sense of responsibility? Why not stay blissfully unaware and happy in our bubbles? It’s true that with awareness we understand our worth and therefor our responsibility, but it also allows us to tap into a space where we can enjoy more fully. In a place of connectedness we are not alone, we are not unseen, we are vital. We feel raindrops on our face and sing like the Peony, we swell with sweetness like the Blueberry, we add blossoms to every single branch tip like the Rose of Sharon. We become part of the world around us rather than just moving around it like a slimy coating. With awareness we validate ourselves. We tap into something that allows us to feel joy, satisfaction, gratitude, and connectedness on the deepest level.

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