I am still amazed at the wonders of technology.
You may say that statement dates me as one who is ‘older’ and perhaps not up-to-speed with the marvels of electronic gadgetry and the like.
Au contraire! I am well-known for my love of gadgets and my fascination with all things that buzz, whistle, flash and hum.
But I still stand in wonder at how I can see something happening around the world instantly, how I can listen to a song streaming from a server thousands of miles away as if I’m sitting in a concert hall in front of a full orchestra, how I can communicate with friends and see their face on Skype any time of the day or night.
Technology shrinks our world and brings into our life places and people from across the span of our lives: memories, sounds, videos, pictures, smells . . .
Smells? Well, not exactly. But sometimes I can almost smell and feel as if I have been magically transported back to a prior time in my life. So powerful is the sense I perceive as I leaf through these memory-triggers.
Nasuli is one such place.
I have fond memories of holidaying here with my family when I was quite young. We stayed in a guesthouse which, from memory, was on the grounds of a MAF mission base in the city of my birth: Malaybulay in the province of Bukidnon in the Philippines.
Rambutan trees with ants crawling all over them. Once you peeled off the ants and then the spiny skin, the fruit was delicious.
Houses whose walls were made of some sort of woven bamboo.
The American church where they had a real choir and a pastor who wore robes ( and where I first heard the amazing hymn This is My Father’s World.)
King Roly Poly. (OK. It was a book I found in the toy box where we were staying. He was so fat they had to build special furniture for him and a special table with a cut out for his stomach. Talk about politically incorrect! But we were children of the 60s.)
And then there was the spring.
I loved the spring. In my tyre-tube I would happily float around for hours. I even would venture to the other side where there were reeds and where ( so I was told) they would find water snakes.
I didn’t care. The cool water around me and the safety of my tyre-tube flotation device was enough.
I still love floating in water. Pool, beach, river . . . don’t really care. I think I thrive in that sense of calm and flow.
“So what does Nasuli have to do with technology?”
I’m glad you ask.
I was on Instagram the other day and one of the folks I followed posted a photo of a bus on the way to #Malaybulay (those of you who get the hashtag know where this story is going).
So I went to ‘Discover’ and searched on #Malaybulay. I came across quite a few photos of #Nasuli, some of them geotagged ‘Nasuli Spring.’
I followed the links, found the photos, was redirected to Google Earth and discovered myself back in the late 60s under sunny skies, floating in the peaceful, cool spring water straight from the central Mindanao mountains.
How an iPad can bring to my mind the smell of a mavis bush, the feeling of cool, clear water on a hot day, and the security of my tyre-tube (that apparently protects me from even the snakes), amazes me.
I would imagine this is another incredible element of my humanity that takes an image of a place and recalls instantly everything of my life–good or not so–that relates to that location. I would go so far as to say this is our natural technology, our created memory system that, miraculously, transports us in time and space to places that have come to define who we are.
I would suggest that this inbuilt, intuitive and infinitely capable technology is far superior to any gadget, gizmo or thingamajig I could ever get my hands on.