I’m starting a new project today!

I spend a lot of time working at a computer, looking things up on my phone, watching videos, checking the weather on my phone, reading emails and texts or scrolling through social media, again on my phone. In other words, I’m often focused on a screen. My screens open up the world to me, but they also pull me away from the place where I’m standing.

It is hard to be fully present in your life when your mind is not in the same place as your body. Don’t get me wrong. I love a lot of things about what technology and the internet do for us. They enrich our lives in so many ways. But we are physical beings. There is something about being mentally and physically present in a place and time that is fundamental to our human experience.

Which is where brushing my teeth comes in. My phone’s dopamine hits have rewired my brain to the point that the two minutes I spend brushing my teeth can seem like a bore. Two minutes! 

But something wonderful happened when we finished our bathroom renovation. We have a new window in our bathroom now, a big window. And it’s right in front of the sink, which means we have no mirror there. Which means that when I brush my teeth I’m looking out at the woods behind our house.

I’ve spotted orioles, watched a ladybug sun itself, followed a squirrel’s mysterious gymnastics. Now, as autumn sets in, leaves drift down through the canopy in unexpected rhythms. I’m making a point of not watching videos while I brush my teeth, and instead I look out the window. It’s a good way to start my day, a reminder that trees have their own tempo, as does the earth.

I thought it would be fun to capture a little of that tree tempo here, so I plan to take a photo of the view from my bathroom sink each week and post it on Instagram, along with anything interesting I observe.

Join me at #treetempo to see how this evolves, and post your own tree tempo images!

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