There I was, just like every morning. Coffee cup at my side, working the crossword puzzle.

But things were different. I was staring at a creek newly planted with trout. Beyond that were rocks, trees, an occasional deer. Behind me a campfire was cooling down after breakfast.

That scene describes a recent experience at Big Meadows campground in Sequoia National Forest. This, also, was part of that experience: No wifi, no phone connection, no TV, no running water, no flush toilets.

Comfort is a personal choice. Some favor the great outdoors with its crisp air and the bluest of skies. Others prefer the lounge chair, TV remote and microwave.

Most of us fall somewhere in between. Personally, I like to get outside as often as I can. Winter cold and summer heat can make that a challenge, but I try to make it work.

So campground 10B at 7,500-foot elevation was a special treat, despite being “off the grid.” 

It’s that grid that keeps us connected to the world, but in today’s political and health climate, a few unconnected days was just what the doctor ordered.

Our modern technology can provide numerous delights, from sports to news to movies, concerts, games and photo calls to friends and family across the world.

But it all can be overload. We find ourselves staring at screens to see the world — while the world goes on outside without us.

So my message today is to encourage all of us to get out of the house, away from your comfort zone. See the world as it really is, without needing a screen and a wifi connection. 

Of course, the current pandemic controls our movements. But last week, we were situated at least 100 yards from the campsite on either side of us. If you can find somewhere away from the crowds, surrounded by trees and/or water, sit and rest awhile. Set up your lawn chair, unwrap your sandwich, open your beverage. Breathe in, breathe out.

The rest of the world, warts and all, will be there when you get back home. It might not be any more enlightened, but you very possibly might be.

Longtime Selma resident Ken Robison is a retired newspaper reporter, editor, columnist and photographer. “Selma Stories” runs regularly in The Enterprise.


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