Publisher’s Letter: Expand Your Views!

By Blaine Howerton, Publisher
North Forty News

Have you ever considered that looking out at the same exact scene, we all “see” something somewhat different. On a hot sunny day, a tourist might see a splendid day to be out in nature while a local farmer sees yet another day with no rain for his crops.

As we all get ever busier and more swallowed up by technology, it might be easy to forget where we live — in one of the most stunning parts of the country — Northern Colorado!

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There are reasons people are moving here in droves. But much like residents of a mega-city like Manhattan, most of whom have never been to the top of the Empire State Building though they pass it every day, you may be passing by some wonderful places that are easily within your reach.

PHOTO BY BLAINE HOWERTON. One of my favorite places in NOCO is in the High Park Burn area. I am awed by nature’s transformation and solitude.

Why does it matter to make it a point to put down your cell phone and visit a part of nature, perhaps an area you’ve been meaning to visit for years? It matters because with the expansion of your actual real-time life experience, your whole perspective can broaden. And this can improve areas of your life that may seem totally unrelated.

Anyone who knows the statistics or just watches the news is rightfully concerned about the sharp uptick of suicides within the past decade — among young people the rate of suicide is drastically up. And why would this be? A myriad of reasons are given such as the loss of social cohesion, and a deepening isolation as people turn inward toward technology instead of outward to do the hard work of meeting new people and making new “real” friends.

But I believe there is another reason for depression and despair (that is not understandably related to significant loss) — it just might be a worldview that is not as big as it can be even within the person’s current environment. Despair is sometimes defined as a temporary narrowing of perspective.

With all the things we can point to that are not going especially well in modern life, I encourage you to get out to see a “new-to-you” aspect of nature, perhaps one you’ve been meaning to see for some time. It might be our new and expanded trails that now connect several cities in our area. It might be the new Poudre River Whitewater Park. It might be Estes Park or a nearby historic town you’ve been meaning to visit like Ault or Berthoud. But wherever it is, make it something that is “new-to-you.” The more you discover in this beautiful area we all call home the more “you” you will have to bring to every endeavor in your everyday life — because when life deals you a temporary blow, you’ll remember just how much life has to offer and how much larger it is than any of us gets to discover in one lifetime.

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Blaine Howerton