As I sit near the warm wood stove and look out at snow-capped peaks around me, it is quiet for a moment and I'm reflecting. Our situation has brought us to this rural, mountainous- cold but beautiful- place so that we can live with my Mom and her husband, and receive some much-needed support so that I can continue to heal and get stronger from this chronic illness. Let's not dwell on that though.

The point is, living in such a rural setting, with no television, movie theaters, malls, etc., it does take more effort to stay current with world events. Those that live here thrive under the 14,000 peaks, and next to tall trees, and long, meandering streams. It is a paradise. It is easy to get 'lost' in this wilderness. I suppose the same thing can happen in a city with plenty of connections to the world- we can get lost in the business and tall buildings and ignore what is really happening. People here say they love it. There is solace. Peace. Easily- found beauty all around. There is a pace that allows one to breathe and not get caught up in materialism or other city-like distractions. I find that although people here are, yes, incredibly kind; lovers of everything outdoors; but it is not necessarily a 'better' place to live. There is a thinking in our culture here that those who live or 'grow up' in rural places, or places with such magnanimous beauty, are somehow 'better' people. Or maybe more aware of what is real. But that doesn't mean they are aware of the world. And maybe that's the way some people need to live and their calling is to address the environmental issues outside their front door. Literally.

I have been lost in this peaceful beauty, caught up in the reality of the illness I face, and became disconnected from social networking, world events, calls for action, etc. I have to make a point to access the web in order to re-connect, etc. I realize how much effort it must take for my sisters around the globe who must walk miles to obtain web access and stay connected on a global scale.

So, I am taking this moment to make use of the web connections we do have here. To really 'see' the events unfolding around the world today. To connect with my WP community. Every so often I can look up and gaze at the immense beauty around, take a deep breath of mountain air, and re-center myself. Yes I want to take advantage of this lifestyle and take time to breathe. But not so much that I miss what is going on here in this online community.

Distractions are distractions no matter where you live. It is good to be distracted, so to speak, and take time to re-group. But I know for me it is in my blood to be connected with those I don't see every day. To know what is happening so that I may choose how to take action. Today my action will be to re-connect with WP sisters (and brothers, too). And I will stick my head out the door to see, feel, smell, inhale. It is possible to be both places and I am grateful for web connection so I can see, feel, and inhale the world, too.

Peace and Hope-


Comment on this Post


Sounds so beautiful there. Sometimes it's good to loose touch with the world for a little bit - to reflect and rejuvenate. I hope the fresh clean air does you good!


Dear Michelle,

I loved your post. I loved your refections and the determination to stay connected. It particularly struck a chord with me as I want to take a break and get away from all for sometime but it is not possible. I want to stay disconnected for a while :)

As for you don't forget us we are here for you. Sending you all the love and positive energy do stay connected.

Lots of love


Nusrat- I do understand what you mean about taking a break and disconnecting for a while. Sometimes the needs around us appear so overwhelming it is good to step back. But people like you and me and this community will never truly disconnect. We will always be drawn back by some unseen power. But there are those who use their environment or context to purposefully detach from 'the world' because they are unable or do not want to really 'see'.

Even though I am taking a step back for awhile, the issues I face are always with me. It is learning to live under these particular circumstances and not get so consumed- or the alternative, becoming so detached- that I am ineffective.

So, take a step back, breathe, knowing that the issues you are passionate about will be there when you return, because you never fully left to begin with.

Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich

Thanks for the advice. Will keep that in mind. But I know my life won't allow me to take a break :) We don't have such culture here. Still I will try to take out some time for myself.

Lots of love


It is true we can not always leave our circumstance. I can never 'leave' this illness- not yet anyway- but I have to figure out how to 'leave' in my mind. Things I can do to take a break, refresh my soul, even if for a moment. I have learned how to still my heart, breathe deeply, and re-center myself so that I can go back into the frey, so to speak, and have what it takes to do what is needed.

I hope that you can find a small bit of time to refresh your soul so that you may continue meeting the needs of others without depleting yourself.

Joy and hope!

Let us Hope together- Michelle aka: Cali gal Listener Sister-Mentor @CaliGalMichelle Tweets by @CaliGalMich

Dear Michelle

Isolation is not just a natural phenomenon, but sometimes a choice as well. If you look from the govt policy angle, isolation is the most effective way of controlling. If we decide to go against that, despite the difficult geographic location, we can build a network that not just end our physical isolation, but also makes us reachable and approachable. I welcome your choice of using web and WP team to be connected. May the world be yours!

Stella Paul Twitter: @stellasglobe

I understand totally what you mean about rural people not necessarily being better people because that is always the assumption. In my country, yes in most cases they are much better than the urban folk because they still live a communal kind of life, where everybody knows everybody and they are always aware of what is happening in their own community. But then again most of them are not aware of what is really happening in other parts of the nation and the world because they only have access to the state television which is quite biased. Hence it is for this reason that political intolerance especially towards people opposing the Mugabe regime is very high in rural areas, they believe everything they hear and cannot tolerate any dissenting voices. So yes it is important to connect and find out what is going on out there, especially if you are isolated. I wish you peace and healing from the disease that is haunting you, it is not for you, In my faith (Christianity) my pastor always preaches that we must denounce every disease that befalls us and refuse to label it as part of our lives for instance calling it my heart disease, or my cancer, It is not for you and all shall be well with you, that is my hope and prayer.