July 22, 2009

The whispers of Winslow Homer

photo by Mama Buttercup
On a recent carriage ride in Vermont, I took this picture. When I opened up and viewed my newly downloaded image, it awakened visions of my favorite Winslow Homer paintings.

Boys in the Pasture

Snap the Whip
and…Waiting an Answer”

I LOVE these paintings…always have….more than ever now. In our very technologically advanced world, these paintings whisper to me to work hard to preserve (what I think are) life’s simple pleasures…passing the day away with a friend, planning a day to be outside (all day), playing simple games with the children that need no pieces or electronic plug-ins…and taking the time to be with and enjoy the special people in my life away from the computer and cell phone. I sometimes struggle to find enough time to be outside, in nature…TRULY present in the gifts that the great outdoors offers. Certainly, it is challenging to connect with friends in this way.

I want to make sure that I am providing enough opportunities for my children and myself to make an everlasting imprint on our memories of time in nature…time spent aware…looking, listening, playing…and…being. I want my children to know enough of nature that they can be grateful for it, value it, and use it as a source of connectedness and happiness in their lives. I want them (us) to use nature as a 100% escape from the electronic connections that we all face each day and to learn that it is IMPORTANT AND VALUABLE to stay in the moment.

Especially when hearing stories like this one from a friend of mine:

She is the mother of an only child, 12 year old girl, no cell phone. My friend offered her daughter the opportunity to bring a friend, 12 year old girl, with cell phone, on a beach vacation with them. Heartbroken, my friend explained to me that the 12 year old girl guest, spent more time texting and talking on her cell phone to other people while on their vacation, than she spent at the beach, playing games with their family, or generally engaging in the fun moments of the week.

I listened intently…and thought “I don’t want my child to grow up to be the 12 year old girl guest with cell phone…not connected to her present moment….HECK….I don’t want to become like the 12 year old girl guest…not connected to my present moment.”

I recently read a book review “Last Child in the Woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder” by Richard Louv that sounded interesting. Responding to the Whisper of Winslow Homer….I ordered it…


Down home friends and what they say...

Comments (3)

Michaela said:

I know what you mean! I do have a cell phone, but I probably use it the least of all the people i know with one. Sometimes, I get yelled at (jokingly) becasue I dont answer my texts right away.

Valerie said:

So true. As a former classroom teacher (elementary age!) I was shocked by the number of 3rd graders that would exit our classroom at dismissal and IMMEDIATELY get on their cell phones. I questioned one child and she said that she had to “check in” with her mom after school…”but you’re not even home yet,” is what I was thinking!

So sad that the 12-year old guest missed out on connecting with others. Sounds like she needs a parent like YOU in her life; although, my SIL is struggling on walking a fine-line with technology and my 14-year old niece.

I dont’ know….I so rarely use my cell phone (Michaela and I could be great friends!) that it frustrates my husband b/c we pay for unused minutes each month! I look at it this way….I’ve not set the example of dialing/talking while driving, shopping, or waiting in medical offices/restaurants for my kiddos!

I think we can find balance with technology; it’s just a matter of effort!

Blessings to you,

P.S. Beautiful paintings!

Sarah Turner said:

I must say…I would have whipped that cell phone out of that girl’s hands…guest or not, and put it away for the week. I bet she would have had withdrawl for about a day, and then really had a blast for the rest of the week. We have strict rules here about electronics…be it the computer or GameBoy or cell phone…I like my kids MORE without these things. That doesn’t sound too nice but it’s true. They are happier and more fun and likeable the farther away they are from technology.
Love the paintings, but absolutely LOVE that photo you took of the field.

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