The average American spends 93% of their life indoors.
When I read statistics like this, I wonder what and who is being considered as an “average” American. I think about choice and privilege and I consider those among us who are confined to prisons, detention centers, hospitals, schools and homes and all our various institutions and industrial complexes. I think about those among us who will not be permitted to go outside for the remainder of their natural lives. I go through the complex reasons why those of us who have the choice to spend more time outside don’t, and I consider the factors that keep us inside.
I write this during a heat wave in Boston and as I listen to the hum of nearby air conditioning units, I imagine all the air conditioning units on my street, in my neighborhood, in this city, country and globally.
My mind then goes to the cooling refuge of a shady tree and I imagine a light breeze on my skin. I imagine the sound of bird song and the cacophony of the natural world. I imagine dragonflies and butterflies and lush green offering fractal light patterns and a sense of calm. I imagine the Earth dreaming through me and dreaming through this tree that I sit with. As my mind stops thinking, I begin to embody the most basic level of aliveness.
Join me under a shady tree next week.