Unplug and go outside. It’s kind of ironic that I read and then “pinned” these words on Pinterest. They seemed to haunt me ever since. In an attempt to find rest after work and from the heat I’d tried multiple things from Netflix to naps on the couch. Maybe you’ve done the same. But for whatever reason the restlessness continued until this past weekend.
While my husband and I only camped for a night, we spent the next day wandering Grant Grove and the surrounding area of Sequoia National Forest. It’s the same story every time we go. I am anxious and my usual uptight self beforehand. And once we’re there, I relax for once and can “just be.” It’s like Prozac and chocolate rolled into one (now there’s an idea).
There is something so freeing about the natural world. For some it’s nerve wracking because it’s something they can’t control. Nature runs on its own schedule and doesn’t need our assistance to accomplish what it must. But once you accept that even without our control, something can be beautiful and thrive; you can enjoy just being part of it all.
We can often ignore God’s artistry when it comes to people, but you can’t deny it when you see the parks. There’s so much that will stop you dead in your tracks. That’s part of the magic of our local National Parks. They offer more than just scenic views and fresh mountain air. They force us to unplug (no service up there anyway) and go outside (obviously). It’s something we seem to have trouble doing in our usual surroundings (I know I do). And yet we need it. We need to unplug and go outside. Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Netflix, Xbox, Pinterest, Call of Duty are all nice things (especially you Pinterest), but they are forms of entertainment, not rest.
I don’t mean to sound like a Ken Burns documentary and you should know for the record I don’t think I’ve ever hugged a tree. This is merely personal observation and experience. And I know it’s not easy to unplug now a days. It’s also not easy to go outside, especially when it’s 104 degrees. But with the parks less than an hour and a half away, it’s easy to retreat from the heat and the ever present Technology Loop.
And more than anything, it’s a chance to view ourselves away from the information saturated, consumer driven world where we reside. It’s not that our world is bad; it just becomes necessary to unplug and go outside from time to time. And our parks have become the last real retreats where we can truly do that.
So do yourself and your family a favor and visit the parks. Doesn’t have to be overnight, even a day trip will do wonders. Just unplug and go outside.
For more information about preserving our National Parks visit www.npca.org.