I’m a news junky, a political junky, I need to be connected. I have no problem being connected between my WeBoost cell signal booster and my satellite radio. In the first couple of weeks I got really anxious when I couldn’t get a signal, couldn’t check Twitter – in part because I worry about what is going on in Washington and on whatever golf course the president is playing. And then Nature interrupts. I’m on sensory overload here in the Badlands of South Dakota. I’ve driven by here before, but I’ve spent two days here and drove the park, hiked, marveled at lookout points, took in the scenery until I couldn’t, and watched the buffalo herd cross the road in the National Grasslands area. It is a world apart.
All this glorious natural wonder has left me to put the pause on my connectivity. Our country is breathtaking, overwhelming, and majestic. And I feel so connected to the world, to terra firma, that it gives me new perspective on politics and world happenings. Though I did catch up on Twitter at breakfast and bemoaned the state of affairs.
I am on a propitious trip that not everyone can take. I am grateful to be able to share what I’m experiencing. It is much more than scenery. It is a perspective change. I don’t mean that I am going to ignore politics and public affairs – far from it! If anything, I am realizing how fragile all this is and that we have a duty to protect and continue our way of life, our great democracy, and to expand it beyond its tentative borders so that we have equality for all. I’ll leave the soapbox for another time. Right now I want you to get how connected we are and that steeping myself in nature has brought me to that conclusion.
The Badlands are 10s of millions of years old and each layer and color of rock demonstrates an epochal change – each about 20 million years apart. Now consider we live an average of 85 years. Perspective.
I took a baby hike and I am NOT a hiker. I’ve never been a camper, hiker, or outdoors person. But when in Rome…I purposefully want to push myself out of my comfort zone. I did that today. This is cedar pass and yes, it smells like cedar because it’s filled with cedar trees! Scroll pics for captions.
The Park is both outside and inside the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and also is bordered by the Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. I took a gravel road and came across the buffalo herd. They were crossing the gravel road. I was floored and no, I did not get too close like that idiot who is in the viral video making the rounds this week. Scroll pics for captions.
It’s easy to get lost in this beauty of nature. She is quite a looker. And I purposefully call this an interruption, not a distraction. Nature interrupts to keep us focused on what is real, what is important, what fulfills us. Politics should serve that in the broadest sense possible. Maybe for you it is art or music, science and technology, philosophy, invention. Those are bigger than any small-minded benefit for one person that is here today and inherited tomorrow.
I’m so grateful for this interruption.