LILACS, TREES, PEONIES | LIFE AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA

 

Home. Ohio. The United States.

My mom's lilac bush is overflowing and offering us a truly engulfing scent experience. To awake in Ohio with a  vase of lilacs by our bedside was, how shall I say, intoxicating. Peony season is nigh. Being sure to say hello to the little ants crawling all over them, I pressure the peonies to bloom before we leave again. The birds are up well before the light of sunrise, chattering and planning away. I imagine they are saying something like, "Where are the good worms today? Hey, want to fly three towns over just because we can?" How fortunate they are. My favorite thing about this season — more than the flowers, the honeybees, the wildlife — are the trees before a storm. Have you ever noticed the way trees rustle and wave right before a summer thunderstorm hits? I have long imagined that the rustling is in fact the trees excitedly talking to each other, saying "hold on tight and drink up, it's gonna be a good one!" A bit of magical realism, maybe, but magical all the same.

All this to say: A few days of normalcy feels divine. When we left Greece last weekend we left social media for one year, too. Mark and I had been talking about our mutual desire to unplug from platforms that left us feeling less than satiated. The social media well had run dry; it was unfruitful. I wondered if leaving social media meant I would lose the connections with friends that I had made across the world; Mark wondered if our blog would lose readership. In the end we decided it just does not matter. Things good and true have a propensity for existing in the most genuine realms of our lives, and for us Instagram and Facebook no longer felt genuine. Even in this new normal of All The Time Access, community and opportunity must exist outside of the internet; they always have. More than anything, I did not want to fritter away precious moments of my life to the Internet. Zuckerberg doesn't deserve that much of my time. (Heh heh.)

Undistracted living has created the space for my imagination to flourish. Negative space is not filled with stimulation or scrolling. I have lost track of my phone, out of battery in the other room, for days at a time. It would sound inconsequential, but I did not lose track of my phone when I was using Instagram.

In the days sans curating Instagram or Facebook posts, I have listened to the trees. I have talked to bugs. I have sat quietly next to my husband without distraction. I have felt like the 1990s and before. I have felt like myself. How sweet it is to be so enveloped in the charisma and calm of a Midwest spring; a Midwest existence. 


—S