I watched a Black Duck family for hours this morning. By sitting quietly and innocuously in the shade, I was able to observe their morning routine without disturbing them. I felt strangely included when they came close and peeped among themselves near me, unperturbed. I loved being among them - accepted as a part of the scenery, a part of nature and not an intruder.
Whilst there, feeling included and accepted, I was moved to continue writing and researching a piece I'm putting together for my informal writers group. How amazing is it that I could continue being a part of this inspirational setting at the same time as accessing files on my smartphone, uploading a current photo and doing a Google search about a remote area of the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa? I was able to view maps and blogs and photographs within seconds. I could watch a YouTube video of a scenic journey through a once-familiar landscape. And the technology was right there for me, available in the right place, at the right time, in the right amount. Admiring unspoiled nature at the same time as using Wi-fi to record my memories from 37 years ago. What a luxury.
Staying there as long as I did allowed me to pick out fragments of milfoil as they floated in, to hear the Tree frogs calling nearby and watch a Kingfisher make a splashy dive for food. The humbling trust of the Ducks took me to the mental space I needed to be in to write the words that had been stuck in my head. The serenity inspired me.
And, while I love undeveloped, natural settings, I also value the freedom and convenience that advances in technology have provided. Being able to store my thoughts electronically without leaving my beautiful surroundings is indeed a plus. I need both in my life to be productive.