Buncha tree hugging hippie crap
One of the many small and random tasks I have at work is to collect weather data every day to send in to NOAA. Although I don't really enjoy going out to get the info on days when it's pouring, or icy, or broiling hot, I definitely have noticed that I'm more aware of the seasons now. Keeping our garden this summer has added to that sense of being tuned in to what's outside. Before I started our garden, J-Dog and I were google chatting one night, and she said, "Getting food out of dirt is AWESOME." She was totally right. Some days, the food feels like a bonus, and I could almost forget that I didn't start the garden just so I'd have an excuse to go outside and listen to the cicadas humming and the birds settling in to roost, to watch for lightning bugs and butterflies.
I read Dean Koontz's latest, Odd Hours, a few weeks back, and there was a line of Odd's that stuck with me: "Because knowing the names of things is a way to pay respect to the beauty of the world, I know the names of many trees." For a long time, I've felt like learning about the world around me helps me to appreciate its beauty and experience a deeper sense of connection to it. I've learned the name of trees, like Odd. I've learned the names of flowers and bugs and birds and rocks, and anywhere I go, when I see something that I know the name of, that place feels a little bit like home. It works the other way, too. When I can identify the trees on my morning walk with the dog, or know the name of the bird that's singing in the tree outside work, or see the familiar shapes of constellations in the sky over our yard, it makes it easy to remember that we are never more than a small part of a large, amazing world. Rather than making me feel insignificant and alone, this tends to make me feel connected and watched over. Hokey? Probably. But I wouldn't have it any other way.
Reading: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Playing: the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack