Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The world is full of treasure- An 🌍 Earth 🌎 Day reflection! 🌏

This week I was reminded that:
1)I need to spend more time looking at rocks.
2) I need to begin filling the gaping hole of Geology in my naturalist education. 

When I was a kid collecting rocks was one of my favorite past times. Even though I grew up in urban southern California, mostly collecting driveway fill, no walk was complete without pocketfuls. I had immeasurable egg cartons FULL of them in my closet. There's something primordial about the need to make collections and gathering the things that strike our fancy. The world is full of vibrance. Perhaps just the act of physically holding something of fancy jumpstarts our dopamine out of dullness. Maybe searching for something shiny helps us hone our skills to spot a last morsel, a berry on a bush, or an edible from a closely shaped inedible. Finding beauty, making art, this creates a scallop around the fringes of our survival skills. 

Most of us think of state parks first as the place to polish those skills. With most state parks currently closed though we are exploring new areas and I hope you are too! During this time, the original mass migration to state parks is a testament to the power of these places. Hopefully in our new world they will get more of the budgets and staffing and resources that they need. Resources that have been aggressively and disproportionately slashed in recent years at state and federal levels. 

I hope though that during this time you are fortunate enough to find your wild.  I hope you will consider that the schooling your children need most might actually be re-wilding them, especially during this opportune time when we don't even have to compete with city playgrounds.  

Get out and explore, however, where ever you safely can. 

Check out the places nearest to you with new eyes. Whether it's a garden square, city green spaces, scenic trails, Bureau of Land Management, National Forests, National Sea or Lake shores, Conservation areas , National Wildlife Refuges, National Recreation Areas, Scenic Rivers, marshes, rails to trails, or a hidden local easements. This land is yours (and for a love letter reminding you why, read Mark Kenyon's That Wild Country).

Familiarity. Thinking Like a Mountain. This IS how we will save our spirits, and hopefully most of the other creatures that we ought to share more space with. 

Maybe you will even have a very lucky day. Maybe, like us, on the way you will see a pair of bald eagles out for a joy fly. Maybe you will see a doe and a buck step out from the bushes to watch unabashedly you, strange creature, in their habitat. Or bluebird seeking a nest, or an iridescent forest swallow. Or a first bloom... I don't know what you will see. But if you look, you will see something.

Meanwhile, up and down "for sale" signs are gobbling up stretches of shoreline. 

My daughter asks if we can take the rocks home. Everyone, it turns out, would like a little beach front property-- even if only a shovelful. We are, after all, not so different from birds. Like some myopic magpie, I too want all the shiny things. I want to hoard them for myself. I want to line my nest with all the objects of novelty. In this time especially, a new dominion seems a longed for, entitled even, distraction.  We are all loosing our minds. My artist friend has even started having crows appear in his black and white tangles-- Corvid, not COVID he says is the new mantra.

 I consider. I reach out. I re-organize. I fantasize about how I could display them and where I would put them. Soon though, the water dries. The coveted objects quickly lose their enticing sheen. So, for today, I settle for some pictures. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for dropping in at our table! Feel free to insert a link back to your webpage here. We aim to publish legitimate comments. We welcome discussion, even dissension, but please try to be courteous and cite your sources.