mulberry street

Fort Lee, New Jersey has imposed a new law- No Texting While Walking.

Initially, I saw this on Yahoo and went on with my day thinking no more of it. But, this morning I was listening to the BBC and the statistics of pedestrians injured or killed while texting was staggering.

All you have to do is google 'texting while walking' and you will come across several stories about people falling into holes, or tripping into fountains and someone was so busy texting, they almost ran into a bear! Yes, a bear!

To stay true to the premise of my blog- motherhood and writing, I'll show you how this issue applies to both.

My first thought was about the Dr. Seuss book, AND TO THINK THAT I SAW IT ON MULBERRY STREET.

The first sentence of the story has the father telling Marco to keep his eyes open and see what he can see.

The fact that someone nearly walked into a bear made me think how much I miss as I go about my day.

I miss the small beauties such as insects carry sticks and leaves.
I miss the big things like tears in a passerby's eye.
I don't marvel at the world around me- just think how the mass we walk on is spinning in an infinite space.
I take my health and life for granted because really, I'm just an insignificant spec in this unmeasurable universe.

Yet, I am (we all are) significant. We have the power to reach out to others to make connections and form bonds- if only we will open our eyes and seek these connections out.

Taking my youngest for walks while his sisters are at school is a powerful reminder of this lost wonder. Every little thing amazes him- it's still very new to him and excites him and stirs a wonder within his tiny being.

Do I squish that wonder when I say, "Ewww, yuck! Don't touch that bug!" or "Gross! Don't pick up that muddy stick!" I want to nurture his inherent wonder by saying things like, "Yes! That's a busy bug. Look at him carry food back to his family!" or "Let's dig in the mud with that stick and see what we can find!"

Unfortunately, I've let myself become too used to my surroundings and I no longer live in awe of the world. I don't want to lose that sense of delight in the world around me. I don't want to be too worried about the laundry, dishes or homework that I don't live in the moments and cherish my children or the small miracles of my day.

In a New York Times article, Casey Neistat puts it much more succinctly than I can:

Let’s stop acting like hollowed-out zombies, with BlackBerrys and iPhones replacing 
eye contact, handshakes and face-to-face conversations.  
It’s time to live once again in the present 
and simply be where we are.

So, today I'm going to open my eyes wide and see what I can see!


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