Every so often, I ask myself why I do some of the things I do. In most cases, I’m simply having a private conversation with myself as to the whys and the wherefores of some of my actions. In most cases, though the issues might cause me some grief, they’re relatively minor and not life-altering, while in others, they are, and a lot hangs in the balance among all the possible conclusions I might arrive at. When it comes to writing about nature, however, my mission is as clear today as it was when, almost five years ago, I penned my first essay for publication.
Back then, my own love of nature was still only in its infancy, having finally sprouted from a seed I’d planted years before and that had lain dormant for years as I took the many side-trips that would eventually sum up who was, where I’d been, and what I’d done. I concluded then that, if I had missed out on the beauty that nature has to offer simply because I’d gotten too busy with living, perhaps others had, too. So I decided that my mission would be to try to remind them gently of what lay beyond their immediate boundaries, if they dared to venture beyond them. Now, this many years later, I still delight in guiding people along some of the paths I’ve trodden, even if that has involved nothing more than looking through a window at whatever small surprise that nature had in store.
If I’ve learned nothing else, I have come to know that she almost always has SOMETHING for us to see and marvel at, even if it doesn’t make itself obvious at the onset and requires a bit of fine visual tuning to appreciate. Part of helping to spread the word about the natural world involves writing about it as much as I can and as often as I can and, as a friend put it recently, “casting my net far and wide.” If I accomplish nothing else, if I never win an award or if my name never becomes a household word, I will rest someday knowing that I didn’t keep all of nature’s secrets to myself and perhaps even managed to kindle a tiny flame of interest in someone along the way.