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I Bring You This Commercial Break

Posted Feb 17 2013 7:28am
At the end of yet another week of horrendous news close to home and around the world (capped off by a meteorite, no less), I bring you Presence Day (not to be confused with Presidents Day, which is being observed tomorrow here in the United States), a day to just be fully present in simple, quiet moments on our shared FoodShed Planet. To recharge. To reconnect. And to perhaps hear your unique place in it all more clearly.

Take a commercial break and immerse yourself in your favorite conservation of nature near you. For me, it's at a place named Cochran Shoals, nine enjoyable miles from my home up and down a hilly, curvy road that explodes with the changing beauty of the seasons. I've written about it here , here , and here . I go there often.

* It's there I see again what I've named the Hand of God Tree (pictured above), and I mutter to it, "See that she dresses warm" while thinking about my older daughter camping in the North Georgia mountains on just about the coldest night of the year here (last night), like Tevya does to God in Fiddler on the Roof when his middle daughter goes to Siberia. 

* It's there I think about the word "boardwalk," as in, "Am I bored with my walk?" (in life) and recommit to taking the steps necessary so that that answer is continually "No." I hear the monkeys calling (okay, it's actually some kind of bird I haven't identified yet which lives in the wetlands where this stunning, minimally-invasive boardwalk was built). I always think again of that water treatment plant in Florida that was turned into a gorgeous bird sanctuary that is open to the public as a free amenity and I ask myself the usual question that nags me, "What on earth is really possible?"  See here:

Constructed Wetlands from Pattie Baker on Vimeo .

* It's there I slow down enough to discover a little waterfall, just a small overflow of rain water by a big, exposed root, sized perfectly for perhaps a field mouse's visual enjoyment. I practically lay on the ground to shoot this photo of it.

* It's there I see the companionship of the sweet ducks, the ripples caused by their bodies interconnecting like a Venn diagram, their shadows moving in concert, and am grateful I am walking with a friend who sees it, too, and who stands with me, silently, and watches.

* It's there I notice the sun's striations kiss a glorious and grand river and try not to look at its cloudy muck up close. Sometimes a heron perches on the rocks and otters play nearby, and so I look there, searching. "Look for the good and you will find the good," I've been telling myself since I was 24 years old and living alone in New York City. And I have yet to be disappointed by that advice from my younger self.

My friend and I, deep in our revery, fall upon this strip-malled, stripped-of-nature intrusion of commercialism.

"Stuck in the mud," my friend says, naming this detritus.

And I realize, happily, that we, as a society, despite the news headlines, are not. Not stuck in the mud. Not detritus. 

That is not our true nature. 

Keep FoodShed Planet coming. See here .
eclectic food-for-thought for a changing world
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