|Addo Elephant Park, South Africa, a photo by exfordy on Flickr.|
I'm not an expert at this—not by far—but I have a thirst to learn how it works, and I've been experimenting. I've gathered a few insights from my lessons, rather like picking up scattered puzzle pieces and trying to find the hidden picture.
As I drove down the highway in my parents' Explorer today, I rolled the windows down. Unusual for me, but it was a balmy spring afternoon—the first in weeks—and it also helped that the inside of the vehicle smelled like gasoline. Hence the gale-force winds whipping through the cab. But it was all for the best, because if I hadn't broken the usual barrier between myself and the outside world, I wouldn't have realized how much we miss with the windows up.
Most of us live in this bubble, a dead space where we're numb to the beauty and importance of what goes on around us. You know how you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone? How about we break that bubble and find out what we've got right now?
One way to do that is to open a window. I discovered this while in a car, but you could do it at your office, in your schoolroom, or hiking in the Rockies.
When I rolled down the window I was able to smell the hearty odor of fresh turned soil. I paid attention to the alarmingly loud whoosh of passing cars, as if for the first time. I caught the distinct whiff of a chicken truck, and heard quick snatches of insistent birdsong.
Opening the window, breaking the bubble, heightening my awareness—it enriched the whole journey for me and made it much more than a well-trodden commute. I actually shut my iPod off and listened to the world around me.
You can do it too. Right now. Tell me how it goes.