Over the past twenty years or so, our Christmas celebrations have shifted away from presents towards presence. This year our celebrations included preparing and enjoying several meals with extended family and friends, movie and board game nights with our young adult sons, and plenty of nature walks for the two of us! It was a Merry Christmas, indeed!
A mash up of science, technology and the humanities, the Deep Time Walk app invites the listener on a time travel experience – any time, any where. While walking 4.6 km in the virtual company of a narrator, a scientist and a fool, take an imaginary trip, 4,600 million years back in time, to when the Earth formed. Then with each step, meter-by-million-years forward, it’s an immersive and informative journey to the present day, where the industrial age represents but a hair’s breadth on the geological time scale.
Think about if for a minute…when’s the last time a day went by without someone telling you to look up? This phrase applies to everything from situations as basic as looking up a bit of information on a website to much more important things, like the need to look up from the various screens that are so good at demanding attention to really engage with the people in our lives that are deserving of our attention. Finding time each day to look up from technology and work is also a good way to (re)connect with nature – to take in a daily dose of Vitamin N and reap the associated benefits.
We don’t always realize how much the presence (or absence) of colour influences how we’re feeling. But the range and depth of our response to colour is embedded in language: seeing red, feeling blue, mellow yellow and “orange ya glad” are some of the common English phrases that reflect the influence of colour on emotion. So when winter hangs around longer usual, leaving the landscape drab and a little depressing, it’s a challenge to spot uplifting splashes of colour in nearby nature.
The Photo Blogging Challenge is itself a threefold exercise in self expression: 1) articulation of thoughts through writing/blogging; 2) portrayal of feelings and views through photographs; and 3) declaration of belonging, to the community of PBC participants. The beginning of the month was a good time to reflect on the ways I express myself, such as cooking, gardening and photography. As the month progressed, events like the January 21st Women’s March and more widespread airport demonstrations in the US prompted me to think more broadly about the concept of self-expression. I am grateful that I have the right to hold opinions and share information and ideas through any media. I wish that for the world.