• Josh Wells

I can smell the rain

I'm almost embarrassed to admit it after spending the last few years trying to take in every bit of the outdoors that I get; but I've just learned to listen to the wild speak. The past few days I've been trying to learn how to fish in the ocean. I've done a decent amount of fishing but never in the ocean, and definitely not from the shore. It seems so complex to me, and so out of my world, "how do I find where the fish are", "what do the fish eat on a regular basis", "is a high tide, or a low tide better", "what actually is a high tide, other than the water is higher on the beach". This and a million more questions crossed my mind, and so I went to the trusty internet, where you can get any answer at the tip of your fingers in a matter of seconds. Or so I thought.. reading article after article I was only more confused. I spent about 4 days researching online, and came up with practically nothing useful.

The other night I decided to go down to the beach, and just sit and take it in. It was about 7:30 at night and it amazed me how many sounds there were, that I had missed everytime I went to the beach. It's mesmerizing. At first my ear was caught by the birds. As I sat there and listened the birds talked in countless different pitches, squawks, squeals, and quacks; I began to watch them. I noticed a flock of 5-7 pelicans swoop down with there bellies less than an inch from the water, then back up and I wondered what they were doing. About 15 seconds later they circled back around, hovered over the same spot just about 15 yards off the shore, and dove head first into the water. Water splashed everywhere, and the bird popped its head up and shook the water off. It hit me right then, this whole time I'd been researching how to fish off the shore, when I should have gone to the experts all along. The birds who fish these waters every day showed me exactly where the fish are. So I started to really pay attention, I watched and listened to the waves, I felt the sand, I walked the beach, and I learned about the relationships of things so far above our understanding, and I began to learn a new language.

When we disconnect from technology it's amazing how much information we actually are able to gather. Whether it's a book, or it's just paying attention to the things we tend to miss each and every day, there's medicine for our souls, and it's not in Netflix, or the mindless scrolling through social media. It's active use of our ability to think and pay attention. Most everything we've created has taken away the need to think, and it's numbed us to the things that we were created to think about. It took me 23 years to understand that nature talks, it's always talking, and that what it has to say is far more important than anything we numb our minds with on a daily basis. The waves crash, but they never crash the same. The birds chirp and have full conversations around us everyday, but we don't even hear it anymore. The wind blows through the trees, each one making a different sound, but we ignore it. We ignore it all, we don't even realize it's there anymore, because the world we created is so much more interesting. But it's not the truth; the truth is we've lost our ability to think, we've lost our need to think, and we've become completely numb to the things around us, missing the biggest blessings of our lives, and so we turn to things that don't take thought. It's an endless cycle thats left us dead.

I've built a habit over the years, that I inherited from my dad. Somewhere between 30 minutes and 3 hours before it begins to rain, I almost always say, "It's gonna rain, I can smell it". And I really can smell it; I'm sure a lot of people can, but what I realized while sitting on the beach, trying to decipher the language of the sea; is that, that is what we were made for. To be in tune with the things around us, to notice and pay attention, to use our ability to think, to notice and enjoy the fruits of the earth.

I hope you learn to smell the rain, I hope you learn to listen to the waves, and I hope you learn to think again. Maybe our biggest failure as the human race, is the fact that we've lost the very things that make us human.


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