My wife is a voracious reader, as I am. However, she takes books with her everywhere. Every trip we take, even a quick jaunt to the grocery store, finds her with her nose stuck in a book. Its not a bad thing, though it does kind of put a damper on conversation. What really bugs me about it though is how she just tunes out the world around her, like it is nothing worth paying attention too. Now I could almost agree with her sometimes. What is she really likely to see while driving down the same 5 mile stretch of Kansas Highway that she has been down hundreds of times before? Still, it never hurts to take a look around once in awhile. Even the familiar and mundane might yield something worthwhile if you just take the time to look.
On vacations and travels she engages in an odd kind of sightseeing. As we pass through beautiful and breathtaking scenery she will sit and read about the history of the area. She relates a steady stream of facts about what happened here 200 years ago, or the history of the name of this place, or what famous person passed through at such and such a time while totally missing the here and now.
In the end I guess its each to their own, but I for one am glad I saw the wolves loping through the forest, or the golden eagle swooping to pull a fish from a river, or even the play of sun and cloud shadow across the plains. Those little glimpses of magic mean much more to me than what man-made history was attached to those places. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of history and believe in the pursuit of knowledge, but all of it is ultimately meaningless of you aren’t anchored in the here and now. So read your books, study your facts, but once in awhile, Take a Look Around.