Taking a break from my unplanned but deeply needed blog break to share some thoughts on fall foliage, Google and the importance of human connection . . .
As I rode my bike around in the late afternoon sunlight, flickers of red kept catching my eye. Vines weaving and meandering their way up the trees, looking beautiful and festive as they climbed.
“What are these beauties?” I thought as I rode.
Eventually I was so enchanted that I decided to pause my ride and take a photo and as I did, I inspected the blazing red foliage a little more closely.
Three leaves. Huh.
Wrapping around a tree. Hmm.
Could this beautiful vine be poison ivy?
I paused for a moment knowing I could easily Google “Does poison ivy turn red in the fall?” on my iPhone, which I had just used as a camera, and have an answer in a matter of seconds.
But then I thought of my friends Jayne and Jeanine, my cousin Dan, my Auntie Linda and Uncle Bill and others who I knew would know the answer to my question and I realized that I didn’t want to Google it.
I wanted to ask someone. And have an actual conversation about poison ivy and beautiful fall foliage and the unseasonably warm weather we’ve been having here in Southern New England — ideally over a glass of wine or a cup of tea.
I wanted connection as much (or more!) than I wanted a quick answer to my question.
It’s so easy to get information and fast answers in our world. Genuine human connection, on the other hand, seems to be harder and harder to find.
Realizing clearly that I wanted the latter much more than the former, I decided to wait and got back on my bike to ride home.
* * *
A few days later I was in the car with my mom when again the bright red leaves caught my attention.
“Oh yay! Here’s my chance,” I thought, posing the question to her.
“Hey, do you happen to know if poison ivy turns bright red in the fall?”
She pursed her lips and thought for a second.
“You know I’m not sure,” she responded, reaching for her iPad, “but I can Google it.”
And this time, while sharing time and space with someone I love deeply, who read to me from wikiHow that yes, in fact poison ivy does turn a beautiful shade of red in the fall, it felt just right.
* * * * *
Thank you very much for your kind notes and Facebook messages. I apologize that I have not been able to respond to everyone individually. I did not intend to be away from my blog for so long, but as I said above, I truly needed the time offline. I’m happy to be dipping my toes back in online, while still staying conscious of the needs I have in the here and now. (In other words, I’ll pop in here when I can, and write from my heart when I am inspired and have the space to do so.) Happy fall, friends. XO ~Erin