November 27, 2017

Cyber What?

Nice no-traffic riding on rails to trails system by our home.

Cyber what? How about a cyber break? Nature is about the most opposite thing to the online world I can think of, and therefore it can be used as an effective antidote.

I like to give myself a nice dose of pure analog Nature on a regular basis. Today a bicycle ride was my activity of choice.

This ride takes me 5 km from home, downhill on the paved road, all the way to salt water. There I sit in the weakening fall sun and watch a duck on the water. From there I backtrack about 2 km, then turn off on a short section of gravel road that leads to a rails to trails system.

Sun setting over the countryside, way too soon. Pedal a bit faster.

Once on the old rail bed I ride about 5 km through extensive quiet forests back toward home. That leads to 3 km of gravel road that returns me back to the paved road, arriving at my house from the opposite direction that I left 2 hours earlier.

While I was out, I hugged a big, old tree in a cemetery near tide water. It was magnificent. For some people, this does not compute.

It does for me.

How to document a tree hug: 1) pick out tree, 2) set camera for 10 second timer, and 3) run...

I feel the textured, cool bark. The wind whooshes through the bulging biceps of huge limbs. The trunk trembling is not noticeable, unless you give your hug a good, long time. I'm not thinking of any cyber-silliness.

Almost there: 4) begin to spread arms, 5) slow down, don't get hurt...

Keeping my ear to this stately, stable life form, three times my age, I listen to what it has to teach me. It knows about patience, and being rooted in its community for the long haul.

It knows about resilience, cooperation and connectedness.

6) ahhhh, squeeze, 7) pause, 8) feel connected, 9) don't forget camera.

Thank you for being my solid and real inspiration in this space, at this time.

I love your reality, tree.


  1. Gregg, this looks like Bliss. I could almost feel the tree myself in your description.

    Life is so busy. Even when you try to make it NOT busy. I'm currently setting myself up so I can take a proper cyber break for a month or so and just be analogue. Isn't it sad though that I feel like I need to set up for it?! I'm looking forward to our long summer holidays too. We won't need to answer to the alarm clock and can instead wake with the Tuis, go to bed with the sunset and explore the forest- which is literally on our back fence. Soon it will be blackberry season and my children and I will go blackberrying and hopefully collect enough to see us through in jam for a whole year. That's the good stuff of life. Forests, free time and home made jam :)

    1. Karen,

      It is definitely work to not work. But so worthwhile. Even though Linda and I live a very simple life, it is still sometimes difficult to find dedicated down time.

      Happy summer holidays. I had to look up the Tuis - beautiful bird. The crows here try to wake us up early so they can get the peanuts we share with them through the winter. I hope the Tuis has a more melodic song than our crows.

      We love blackberries, and when we lived on the berry-rich west coast of Canada, we had several years where we relied on our own jam production 100%. Very satisfying to make our own. Good stuff, indeed.

  2. Anonymous11/28/2017

    Nice to have somewhere local to explore and watch the seasons pass. Regular breaks from media are healthy and good for the mind. Why people want to get lost in a virtual world when the real one is so interesting, who knows. The entertainment industry is getting increasingly more sophisticated. Interesting article regarding the introduction of gambling like rewards in games:

    1. Alex,

      Virtual worlds are mesmerizing, and as you point out, they know how to trigger our brains and get us hooked, and fast. Very dangerous stuff, speaking from experience. I am extremely wary about getting involved in any game or virtual world. They are energy and time suckers, and both are finite quantities. Life is short.

      When everyone is distracted by immersion in virtual worlds, will they forget all about the real world crumbling around them? You can't have virtual reality without reality reality.

  3. Love these photos and story of your long bike riding adventure! So uplifting. There's something about trees, isn't there? I agree, "it knows" and "it teaches." The blue sky is breathtaking. I too looked up the bird, Tuis, Karen. What a beautiful winged one.

    I've been spending quite a bit of time outside on my patio. Being still for just a short time and so much wildlife shows up. There's movement and life everywhere.

    1. The Tui are truly lovely Terri. Such beautiful song. Gorgeous to wake up to. There's life everywhere if we just stop and look. Sounds like your patio might have a similar view. Bliss :)

    2. Terri,

      I am considering doing an every day visit to a forest sit spot in 2018. It is a big commitment. Discipline is required.

  4. "The creation of a thousand forests is in one acorn."
    ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


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