We are practicing behaviors that will aid us in going off the grid. The first phase of the experiment involves energy conservation. For example, we are conserving energy by: using lights only when we need to, not using central heat or air, washing dishes by hand, and (heaven help me) washing clothes by hand and hanging them out to dry. Life has been pared down to the very basics. It is much simpler, but more interactive, and I’m not talking about using a game to simulate living. I’m talking about vigorously using all of my senses to live. We sold our t.v.s; consequently, that leaves us with only two noise makers-- the computer when in video mode and the radio. However, I rarely turn them on. Instead, I crave to listen to the surroundings.

Listening to the creation is like hearing God breathe. As my awareness of my environment goes up, so does my sensitivity to the beauty of everything that God has afforded us. My eyes are delighted by the sunrays slipping through the tree canopy to provide the dappled light on the ground below. My ears are pricked by the sound of a fish loudly jumping out of the lake and belly flopping back into the water. My heart swells to see the two Egret couples that live on the island bank in front of the dock. My tongue and skin lick up the sweet, swampy lake water that Gabe splashes while imitating a merman. My nose is keenly aware of the smell of a campfire. It’s amazing.

I never understood why I’m so hot during the summer…until now. Now, I recognize that it is because I spent my entire adult life inside in a climate controlled setting. I rose at 5 am, left at 6am, drove 45 minutes to work, worked for 10-12 hours, and then reversed course. I rarely saw the sun or even felt its heat. My body is doing its job now. It is experiencing the heat of the day and the coolness of night. It is experiencing the respite of a cool wind on a hot and humid day.

For the first time in my life, I feel like I’m really living a life that matters. A quiet life that is beautiful and wonderful. I watch my husband teach my son to fish and then see it mimicked in nature as two stags sample some lick up water from the same lake. My heart is full. My spirit is communing with the Spirit of God.

It is not location or religious activity that brings you closer to the heart of God. It’s quietness. It’s the simplicity of the every day.

What would it take for you to slow down, tune in and simplify?


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