There's some great articles in the summer/fall issue of Appalachia (the AMC journal which comes out twice a year). In particular "Giving Ourselves Time to Track Time" by Laura Waterman, Guy's wife.
"Hikers coming to the mountains these days are dealing with some very complex time issues. The temptation is to multitask. You're "just" walking up the trail, so you could be talking to your secretary or your business partner or even your mother at the same time. Or, you could be listening to your iPod.
Well, sure. But if you do, you're no longer aware of the birds or noticing the undergrowth or paying attention to the play of light and shadow across the path you're walking on. If you're with someone—your friend, your spouse, your child—you're not paying attention to them, either. Even though you're at this moment walking through the woods and in nature, you're not part of it. You're disconnected. You're absorbed only in listening to the words, the tunes, coming into your ear, and you're missing all the wildness that surrounds you. You're disconnected from your friend, spouse, child, too. In fact, you're disconnected from yourself because you're mentally in the space of the phone call or the iPod program and physically in the woods. You've split yourself.
Thinking about this makes me ask: How can we care for land, for wild land, if we disconnect ourselves from it—even when we're in it? How can we truly care for that to which we aren't connected? If we don't want this kind of disconnected relationship to land, what can we do?
We can stop. We can just stop! If we don't want to disconnect and experience those fractured feelings that leave us unhappy, dissatisfied, then ... connect. Restraint is necessary here, even modification of habit.
(Memo: On the next mountain trip leave the cell, the iPod, etc., at home.)
Now that we've put ourselves in a position to connect, we can feel respect, for surely we can't care for that for which we feel no respect. By feeling respect for the woods, the land, wild land, wildness itself, we'll be giving ourselves time to be fully in it. We'll feel respect for time itself because we're giving ourselves time to savor it. And this leads to the most important thing of all. We can respect ourselves. We're no longer clumsily fighting time, but by gracefully being in ourselves, in the land, and in time, you might say we've put ourselves in a state of grace."
Enough said. Thanks Laura.