by the CI Editorial Committee
Oh do you have time
for just a little while
out of your busy
and very important day
for the goldfinches
that have gathered
in a field of thistles…
The moment this poem by Mary Oliver scrolled into sight on a social media feed became, as its title suggests, an “invitation” to reflect on the balance of nature and technology that we now uniquely experience.
This April in particular, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day amidst a global health crisis – the effects of which are, in the least, keeping us indoors and on screens. More than before, we rely on the creative potential of technology during this time to pivot our businesses, collaborate as a team, and connect us with friends and family.
Certainly, these are positive experiences amidst the challenges, and there are others as well. From education to culture, notable examples have arisen of institutions, companies, authors, and artists using technology for the innovative power it holds: to transport us virtually on museum tours or provide science lessons for our kids learning at home. With these opportunities excitedly at our fingertips, the invitation to pause is perhaps a more distant and quiet calling.
Reading these verses by Mary Oliver may amplify our curiosity about the natural world alive and well just outside a window of wherever we call home. The finches, “expressive of mirth,” that “strive melodiously…for sheer delight.”
“A rather ridiculous performance,” the author goes on to say.
It could mean something.
It could mean everything…
Accepting this invitation provides an appreciation for events which would have happened regardless of our notice, but in pausing for a moment of observation we allow them to enrich our experience. We can extend our celebration of Earth Day in these brief but impactful ways, creating more balance between the immersive landscape of technology and that of our natural world.
Stop. Look. Listen.