The Poverty of Time

Sep 06, 2022

As I negotiate the back and forth between Seattle and the island, I become more aware of my experience of time in these respective places.

I especially notice the contrast when I have had extended periods up on the island where I have chosen to sit very still, listen, meditate and attune to the rhythm of Nature.

I do not look at my phone, the news, or my watch. I eat when I feel like it. I sleep shortly after it gets pitch dark and the sunrise awakens me with subtle light and warmth.

I watch shadows change throughout the day. I naturally start to track how the placement of the morning sun slightly changes every few days. I notice how bird cultures differ in different zones according to the plant life. I notice that plant life.

I have become aware of a sequence of cycles over the years that I can predict.

I watch the course of the moon; its placement in the sky and how I feel.

I can sense more subtlety when the weather will change and if it will rain..

I am attuned to a completely different way of life here. Even if I have things to be done, I never go indoors. A canvas wall is as close as it gets.

My hearing and my sight have improved.

This timeless state is a fusion of my inner world and my outer world in which I experience an abundance of Being. 

I realize it is a great privilege to be able to “unplug” and Sean and I have purposely created this place so that  we can’t even drive to our camp!!! We are offgrid completely.

It takes a few days but I begin to watch others shed the city vibe. We are engulfed in trees, and plant and animal life. Everyone leaves fed by this situation.

At some point, the human race will have to come to terms with what it has created to enable to live outside of the rhythm of Nature. We are divorced from this cadence and yet we are still a part of it. 

This is the conundrum we must eventually face.

The more we are glued to screens, to information, to non-stop activity, to more and more and more and thinking we need to accomplish more and more and more, the more the inevitability of a breakdown.

We experience the poverty of time.

The rhythm of daily life has become unbearable. Our physical, emotional and mental health is deteriorating. Systems are falling apart. We are more myopic, self-centered, and less empathetic to each other. Our indifference is strengthened through this poverty of time. Our fuses are short  and our needs are many.

We want to fill every minute with something and no one can sit still.

The nuance of experience has been so numbed that we need loud, painful, intense, and violent…

I know you may not be able to get away due to circumstances, but do something that allows space in your life. Be content to do nothing for an hour. Make your day off  a hike, gardening, or a walk in the park. Choose to not pick up your phone.

We need only experience a contrast to our situation to understand something more.


Molly Knight Forde is the founder of the Awareness School and author of Be Present: Reflections Along The Way.

If you are interested joining us for an in-person retreat, visit our Retreats Page for opportunities coming up soon!

Seeking a spiritual community?
You can become a member of the Awareness School anytime. Click here for more information:



Receive a free Light Grid Meditation and sign up for our weekly email, which delivers our latest blog post, Awareness School news and shamanic wisdom to your inbox every Thursday.

We will never spam you or sell your email address