(Plate by Ernst Haeckel, courtesy of Public Domain Review)


I desperately needed time in the woods today. Lately there had been too much time spent in urban centers, too much time spent in cars, too much plane travel, too much time away. I find it necessary to stay in tune with what the birds are doing. I find comfort in their activities. The simple beauty of their lifestyle makes sense to me. I hear the sweet rhythm in how they live. But when I turn my ear to my fellow human beings I hear erratic discordant noise. The unpredictability of it all sets me on edge. I watch the birds search for food and then I watch people drive faster and faster in metal boxes along strips of pavement. Where is the sense in that? Birds seek food and shelter, they travel to warmer climes for winter, and back north again to raise families. People walk through the woods, coarse and loud, talking crassly on their cell phones. We violate the places where wildlife struggle to make their homes, over and over in increasingly egregious ways. When I enter the woods, I think of it as a chapel. Here we are silent, here we are respectful, here we do our best to make a minimal impact. Here we observe quietly. The birds are easier to see in the fall as the trees shed their leaves. But it’s harder to sneak up on them, when you are crunching on those fallen leaves. It was a perfect day to be in the woods. The golden light spread through the trees and fell upon everything below. I soaked it up. I rested and recovered. I breathed deep. And then I strode unwillingly back out into the madness.


>I’m at home sick for the second day in a row. On one hand, it’s a pleasant escape from the everyday drudgery. But I get stir crazy very easily, and so virtually all of the appeal has worn off by this halfway point through the second day. I’m ready to throw myself back into the crazy world. I’ve mostly just stayed in bed for the past two days, and so everything outside of the bedroom has become suddenly foreign to me. Venturing to other parts of the house is a risky undertaking, and everything looks weird out there because I haven’t seen it in two days. It doesn’t help that it’s finally gotten cold here and the bedroom is currently the only room that is heated. So not only is it weird outside the bedroom, but it is also cold. Two strikes against leaving this safe haven.

Tomorrow is Halloween and I am not prepared due to my illness and, prior to that, my general laziness. I can’t seem to get myself together for this holiday in recent years. A long time ago, Halloween was a sacred time for me and my group of compatriots (many of whom I saw this past weekend for the first time in a couple of years). But lately I’ve been lacking in enthusiasm. The most fun I’ve had on Halloween in recent years was two years ago when I rode in the Halloween Critical Mass ride. Now that was fun. There is another Halloween ride this year (not CM) but I’m not sure I’ll be feeling well enough to participate.

Well, this afternoon is dragging, even more than an afternoon at work normally does. I suppose I should go find something mind-numbing to fill up a few hours. Maybe I will check the mail, too. First time outside the house in two days…could be exciting!

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