A Smartphone Wise Enough to Power Down

Yes, of course there is a relaxation app called “Calm.” As the description says, “For a quick refresher mid-day, the app has nature scenes and calming background noises that aid relaxation during the instructed meditation, which focuses on breathing and body awareness.”
I’m surprised I didn’t hear of it earlier. Smartphone users are probably accessing plenty of meditation, zen, and chill out apps. I’d look them up, but then my search engine would contact a digital snoop group, and I’d be inundated with calls, email messages, and text blurbs about products and programs. “One time offer for $3.99. Download our Still Chill app that mixes the mindfulness of complete silence with the healing components of an entirely off-white screen.” Oh well, I’ve probably paid more than four bucks for pretty much nothing before.
I guess such an app is necessary for those caught in a concrete and steel world, but you’d think most folks could find an analog version of this app—parks, tree-lined streets, paths, and backyard gardens for starters. A farm offers obvious possibilities. As a matter of fact, I wonder if a smartphone would actually live up to its name if I accessed a “chill” app on my folks’ farm.
I can hear a Siri-like voice floating from the phone as I walk out the farmhouse door:
Stop; look up from the screen; see the bridge, creek, and pasture. Now power down and leave this phone behind. Listen to the gravel crunch beneath your feet as you approach the stream. Hear the sparrows chirp in the mulberry bush and the water bubble over rocks in the shallows. Tiny frogs launch from the bank, a school of minnows reflects the noonday sun, and a warm breeze rustles the prairie grass. Walk along the creek and don’t think of me or anything digital until you get back–if then.
Maybe it would be good for us all to leave the smartphone behind on a regular basis. The following two blog entries provide earlier looks at “Farm Calm” situations—and you don’t have to pay $3.99 for them.
An Analog App on a Digital Farm
Excerpt: A summer breeze ripples through the tasseling corn, a red-tailed hawk hovers over the back grove looking for mice, and the newly baled hay stacked in the nearby shed still has that intoxicating alfalfa-clover aroma. I doubt if there is an app for that.
Time Travel in the Prairie Grass
Excerpt: The coneflowers, asters, and other prairie flowers bloom intermittently throughout the summer, and if the rains have been plentiful, muskrats make dens and trails in the boggy middle part. The few scrub trees are surrounded by prairie “rip-gut” grass, and butterflies float from milkweeds to black-eyed Susans. Goldfinches and meadowlarks chirp, ants swarm on large mounds, and a field mouse scurries through the undergrowth.
by dan gogerty (top photo from idownloadblog.com and bottom one from rxflyfishing.com)

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