imagesMy internet has been down for a week. What an unexpected opportunity to look at my addiction, to observe the many reasons and ways I reach for the keyboard!

I noticed how indignant I was when I heard about the upcoming outage; how I simply expect to be connected to the world with the press of a fingertip, and to have access to gigabytes of information, images, inspirational videos, music, schedules, phone numbers (I don’t even have a phone book anymore), definitions, my family and friends, maps, courses… instantly.

I also notice it has been a certain kind of refreshing for this all to be on pause… simply not available, whoosh – gone! (Of course there are Wifi spots nearby, you just walk over, ask for the password, sit down, and there it all is again. But at home: whoosh – gone!)

images-2I’d also like to share that as I type this, a teeny weensy spider has just crawled up on my keyboard, and is now sitting between the function keys 5 and 6 on the top row. I wonder how long it will visit me, and whether it will leave of its own volition or mine! We like having such little creatures share our living space. Even way up here on the 12th floor of an urban high rise! Also refreshing J.

But I digress. Back to topic. One of the consequences of the internet outage is that I have listened to more radio than usual. Today on CBC (the fine Canadian public broadcaster under serious, even existential, threat from the Conservative government), I heard the term Ripple Out.

The context was fascinating to me (how the effects of the invention of the cell phone have rippled out around the world), but I was even more fascinated by how the term resonates with, and in, me, well beyond the radio program.

I love the image of a drop of water landing in a smooth pool, and then watching, or imagining, the undulating mini-mountains of the smooth, circular wave as they emanate out from the tiny drop. I find it pleasing, full of beauty and mystery…

The physics (which I don’t understand) are intriguing, but also the promise, the unknowns – How far will it go, what will it touch, how will it be changed as it travels, what effect will it have?

As I write, I feel a stirring in my heart, of appreciation and gratitude for all we understand about our natural world, and awe and wonder about for all we don’t know, and for the miracle of life, our cosmos… Talk about rippling out!!

It puts me in mind of the poem by Robert Louis Stevenson, Where Go the Boats?images-1 A little child sets its paper boats afloat in a river and has no idea who may find them or where they might wind up :-).

And then there are the inner worlds where metaphorical drops of water land in us all the time, and ripple out, whether we are conscious or unconscious of the action.

I love the metaphorical image of an idea, at first perhaps just a glimmer, then growing, spreading, and transforming – individuals, society, the world as we knew or know it. For example, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, the evolution of species. Or the Buddha’s 8-fold Noble Path. Or the idea of recycling, cleaning up the plastic gyres in the ocean; that we are interconnected, all part of a miraculous bigger picture, with both scary, dark as well as light and luminous pockets, but a whole nonetheless.

maxresdefaultThe images and ideas themselves are gripping, but it’s the rippling out I am tapping into here. How glorious that an individual can make such a huge difference, a drop in a pool, an idea, an action, a random act of kindness. The magic of it, the potential, the surprise, the exuberance, limitlessness! The effect on our souls, our spirits, our imaginations, our bodies, our world views!

Recently I learned about another example, musical and moving, of rippling out.  Check out this Website. It’s about Playing for Change, creating rippling, positive change around the world, with music.  Take a couple of minutes to let this video touch your heart!

How about you? Where and how do you experience rippling out? What idea or experience landed as a “small drop” (or a big plop!) in you, then grew and grew, to influence how you see, feel, think, know?

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)

(Now the spider is perched atop the F5 key!)

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