Ah, the challenge: an introductory essay. What does one say?
Do I share my goals? Make my promises?
Explain my passions and values?
How do I say enough and not say too much?
Let me start with the most important words: thank you. To you.
I almost called my digital personality The Grateful Naturalist, because I’m grateful for many things ~ grateful to be alive, grateful to enjoy the outdoors, grateful to live in a time when scientific knowledge of nature’s inner workings is available as never before.
But I’m also grateful to you, grateful that you’re reading. This blog would not – will not – exist without readers like you.
But I hope you won’t just be a reader. I hope you’ll also be a responder, a participant. I hope you’ll take my thoughts and expand on them. I hope you’ll comment, confirm, challenge me. I dream that because of something in this blog you’ll be inspired to go enjoy your ecosystem – human-altered features included – even more than before. I desire to help you feel a little more connected to your precious time and space. I want to enrich your life, even as you’ll enrich mine.
Our interaction is something to be thankful for.
So, gratitude expressed, who am I? Or perhaps more aptly, what am I?
What’s a naturalist? It’s a word that’s coming into vogue, and is starting to be disentangled from words like nudism. (Yes, let’s please continue that trend.)
Here’s a definition cobbled together from a quick online search:
naturalist: one who studies and is versed in natural history, especially zoology or botany.
And here’s my addition:
naturalist: one who seeks to understand, experience, and enjoy the natural wonders of the world, including those studied in biology, geology, and ecology.
If any of this resonates with you, you may be a naturalist, too.
I’ll share my goals and values another time, but here are my promises:
- I vow to be realistically positive. There’s a lot in current ecology that paints a dismal picture. But combating grim predictions with healthy, realistic optimism and action is a good salve. There’s everything to gain by choosing happiness while facing reality.
- I promise that each essay will be under 500 words and each video will be under 5 minutes. (I almost shared this first to ease your mind.)
- And echoing life’s biological mandate, I predict (and vow) that this blog/forum will adapt and evolve.
This will be a journey.
And I hope you’ll join me.
The Happy Naturalist