It’s Earth Day, and that has me thinking about the intimate encounters I’ve had with nature in my lifetime.
- I have swum with manatee, dolphins and stingrays.
- I briefly dated a guy who could imitate a barn owl so accurately that every owl in the region would respond to his call. He also taught me how to walk through the woods at 2 am without a flashlight. (Lift your toes to avoid tripping, and hold a stick ahead of you to thwart spider webs, and you’ll be amazed how quickly your eyes adjust to the lack of light.)
- Working graveyard shift for 10 years, I’ve probably seen about 2000 sunrises, enough to know each one is as unique as a snowflake.
- Many times I have watched that moment when the moon expands and turns orange just before it sinks below the horizon.
- I’ve hiked beyond the overlooks at Yellowstone Park, and was told by a ranger that less than 5 percent of the parks visitors bother to do so. I find this astounding, and a bit disheartening.
- I’ve rescued wild birds with my bare hands.
- I’ve pulled my car over to remove lizards from my windshield.
- I have reclined in a mountain meadow and watched bats fly overhead.
- I’ve ridden horses through national parks.
- I’ve seen solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, shooting stars and comets.
- I have snorkeled above a coral reef.
- I have danced in the rain.
But perhaps most importantly I have looked skyward and thanked the universe for allowing me to live on this planet and feel the wind upon my face. I hope everyone will take a moment today and do the same.
Image credit: mauiearthday.org