Don’t take field notes ALL the time. Or even photos. It’s vitally important that, sometimes, we just abide with nature. Not every moment needs to be captured. Not every species needs to be documented.
True, I think the world will be a better place when more people take field notes, take notice of the world around them, see how truly enmeshed in nature we are, feel moved by the seasons and care for the dramas that unfold around us on both tiny and epic scales.
But, sometimes… Just sometimes… don’t pull out your pen and paper. Or your camera, or your phone. Just look, and listen, and feel, and smell, and be.
This post is inspired by a recent entry in my personal journal, not my field notebook. Below is the page, and below that is a transcript (because… handwriting!)
Tue, Sep 9, 2014
“I will release my anger and bad thoughts.” That’s the hardest line I added to the Dalai Lama’s quote.
But you know what? I don’t just have to release bad thoughts. Starting with the hike up Capulin Volcano in New Mexico, when Landon begged me to hurry my pace and not take so many pictures, I’ve been thinking about ‘breathe it in, breathe it out,’ ‘let it in, let it out’ ~ let the experience pass through me and away, and what stays is really going to stay, but clinging to each moment – even good ones – only causes more stress. I can’t hold or record each moment, and I’m not fully living when I try.
On a lighter note, because I was so camera-crazy on top of Capulin (trying to capture every sweeping vista and intriguing plant), I caught the exact moment when Landon’s patience snapped:
I think that expression is a good reminder that even perfectly patient people can be taxed by a naturalist’s pace.
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