Above shows the author admiring a lovely view of a new hiking trail (if only you could see it too).  This was an accidental selfie that has now become a once a week habit!

“Inch worm, inch worm
measuring the marigolds
Seems to me you’d stop and see how beautiful they are?”

Lyrics by Frank Loesser

Time is money.  More than ever nowadays.  And–what with all this instant communication, people are apt to squander away their moments very shallowly with great impunity.  Because we have a right to expect instant downloads and instant access, when it comes to calculating our statistics and chasing down facts.  We demand convenience right this very second.

All of our complex apps allow us to have the best of ALL worlds’ right at our fingertips without every bothering to commune with any of it.

But we know numbers.

And we are savvy at accessing numbers.

For example, did you know that it’s a thousand feet approximately from our house to the corner of our block?  Yes it’s true.  Our GPS showed us this as it guided us out of our neighborhood to turn at the correct streets.  Did you know that it’s also 5 tenths of a mile to the local elementary school?  And this can be converted on my fit bit to 10,000 steps on my overall tally for the day.

Did you also know that my maximum heart rate for my age group is 175 beats per minute?  I don’t know if this is very good but it sure does keep me up at night worrying about it.

Amidst all our frantic data collection, we miss the central beauty of what we are witnessing and recording.  It takes major efforts to just enjoy a great view of something, either in nature or out in civilization, without needing to officially share it on-line.

We are a huge collective of out of school SOL takers, each one vying to outsmart the other when it comes to absorbing tips on face book or great numbers to share.  We memorize these math facts in a rote manner, over and over again.  Yet we generalize and remember the information for only a few fleeting minutes.

And then, like a snow storm in April, it’s all gone.

And the numbers we are priding ourselves on keep changing overnight as technology morphs into something else.

So, like the inch worm tirelessly measuring the marigolds, we stay frantically busy at tasks that don’t sustain us in the long run.  And all the while, we never stopped to admire the beauty or fragrance of all the lovely flowers we have been so hard at work on.



About John Watts

I like to write transcendental community based essays and stories along with photo journalism pieces.
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