365 Nature – Day 64

In 2016 I’m doing a 365 Nature project. Each day of the year I will post something here about nature. It may be any format, a photo, video, audio, sketch or entry from my nature journal. It could be a written piece. Each day I will connect to nature in some way and share it here by the end of that day. You can keep up-to-date by subscribing to the RSS feed or be notified by email. See all the 365 Nature posts.

As I wandered around the arboretum today, stopping to listen to birds, pick up fallen lichens and looking at newly blooming flowers, I started to think about the people around me. What I realized was that every one of them was moving fast – jogging, walking a dog or just walking. Nobody meandered, wandered or even moseyed. Perhaps because I was moving more slowly than normal today, thanks to the touch of a cold, the busy movements of everyone else was very striking.

This made me think about journeys and how we often go on hikes or journeys to get somewhere, for the destination. When I go for a walk or a hike, I like the journey, even if I never get to the destination. If I’ve seen something interesting, received a sense of peace or had a memorable experience I count that as a successful wander.

There are many great stories about the journey, perhaps the master of that is J.R.R. Tolkein and his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. As Tolkein wrote:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of a book about urban nature, coming Spring 2020 from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, ParentMap, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction.

Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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