What Is Life…….

– – – Exploring The Countryside and Lanes of Dorset – – –

‘What is life if, full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’, says the poet William Henry Davies, and he had a point! Putting up my recent posts, reminiscing over the ‘good old days’ 🙂 just makes you think about how life has changed since the days of our Morris 10 trips out into the countryside. OK, of course there are a lot of changes that are for the better, but certainly not all……and of course I realise that to a degree at least, the ‘good old days’ only works because you have probably forgotten the bad bits.

Scan 17 copy 6-2

You see, the main way things seem to have changed for the worse is that these days, we have no time to ‘stand and stare’! Back in the Morris 10 days, we walked everywhere and if we did use my uncle’s car, even that went slow. There was no mad rushing about along motorways just trying to reach our destination. No, in those days we went slowly along country lanes and we had time to take in the things we were passing. To continue with the poet, such things as ‘sheep or cows’, woods, squirrels hiding ‘their nuts in grass’, ‘streams full of stars’, etc etc. Our forced slowness enabled us to SEE things that today we often miss. And we are poorer for it!

Back in the Morris 10 days, life was simpler. There was no internet, no computers, no mobile phones, no games machines to carry with you everywhere, so we weren’t trying to be in a dozen places at once as most people seem to be today, texting, checking emails, surfing the web, looking at Facebook, scanning through Instagram, Tweeting, and trying to keep in touch with everyone at the same time. Of course technology has its good points, making communication so much easier, especially with friends and family who are living away from us, but somehow this constant alertness to texts, tweets and tantalising Facebook topics is a stress that takes us away from where we are right now. And we lose something as a result!

Today, a walk in the woods is rarely just that as people carry all their contacts and friends with them in the form of social media which takes away from the immediacy of their surroundings. There is so much to see all around us but we need to maintain an awareness and focus on the NOW, to focus on our surroundings with eyes and ears alert to the bugs, bats, birds, bees, and a whole raft of other things. And life, or God, or nature, however you look at it, will reward us handsomely. I think this applies not just to a walk in the woods but whatever we are doing – if you focus on ten things, you get the best out of none! And if you rush around you get the best out of none!

Sometimes I think that technology, and especially social media, will go full circle and we will start to get tired of the way it complicates our lives, pulling us in a dozen different directions at once, and start to live more simply again; to live in the moment, concentrating solely on what we are doing NOW and on the people we are with NOW. If this were to happen, life might become a little freer, slower, less cluttered, and hey, even more rewarding.

So, how about it? Can we start to slow down again even if just for a bit of time out? Can we set aside our ‘Fear Of Missing Out’ and focus fully on where we are and what we are doing NOW. I fancy that every experience and every day will be richer for it!

Thanks for stopping by.

Until next time,
Your friend The Dorset Rambler

If you would like to contact me, my email address is terry.yarrow@gmail.com – comments and feedback are always welcomed.


  1. Oh how I agree! I am so thankful that we have 2 dogs. Every single afternoon we both take them out in the car away from Wareham to a venue of our choice and have a walk. When there’s 2 of us I can leave my phone at home. Yesterday we had a glorious time at Durlston Country Park. We walked through the meadows from Panorama Road to the castle and back via a different route, also taking in the cliffs. We saw no other person in the fields! Nothing interrupted us, certainly nothing electronic. We concentrated on identifying the butterflies and the flowers especially the orchids, hundreds of dazzling pink pyramidal orchids and quite a few bee orchids. The views were amazing from Swanage Bay to the IOW. We saw plenty of guillemots on the sea and even smelt their nests below us! We heard skylarks and felt the coolish wind and the warm sun in turn. In other words we used all our senses. Yes, even taste with time to stop of an ice cream in the 7th Wave garden looking at the white horses below. It was wonderful and refreshing to the spirit, mind and body. Not a beep was heard. Bring on the time when more folks will realise what we have done to our lives. We do have a choice. We can reconnect with people and the world around us without the need to connect electronically. However using my tablet I send this comment! Useful if used with care.

    I read all your blogs and love the detail, the philosophy and the photos. Thank you.


    1. Thank you so much Catherine, that is such a great comment! The only sense I am not blessed with is smell so I cannot identify with your smelling the nests but apart from that I use all my senses 🙂 And it is great 🙂

  2. I needed to read this today, thank you! As someone who enjoys standing and staring at all nature’s wonders, I wholeheartedly agree 🙂

  3. It is so rare for people to be able to sit and do nothing. I believe it’s a lost Art form and with that lost skill comes anxiety and stress. I think you’re right, we need to take a step back…I do try but that may be something about getting older 😩

    1. I think it’s difficult too Abigail. It takes a conscious effort but I think we are better for it even it is just for a short time. I think slowing down generally has to be a good thing.

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