Hello, all. I hope you are doing okay. I would like to give you an update on my past week at Hartman, my 3rd week working in earnest.
My project this summer, as I have probably said too many times already, is focused on how we balance the chaos of our daily lives with our relationship to our natural surroundings–of course, looking at how we can be stewards of the environment in the time we have in between the things we do to make sure food is on the table, but also how nature can serve as an escape from the things that ail us. The chaos of our daily lives has been particularly, umm, pronounced, we'll say, this past week or so. As such, I have leaned heavily and possibly selfishly into that escapism that nature, and specifically the woodlands of Hartman Reserve, can offer.
I spent much of last week sitting quietly among the trees. Writing poems, taking photos, twiddling my thumbs, trying to remember the name of the actor who played Jon Arbuckle in the ill-fated live-action Garfield films without taking my phone out of my backpack to Google it (it's Breckin Meyer, by the way). But mostly, I tried to observe and be. To escape into the creak of cracking branches, the stuttering whisper of the leaves. To embrace even the immediate bodily discomfort of scattered bug bites and uncooperative sciatic nerves. To take time to understand that I am here, wherever here happens to be. Sometimes that needs to be enough, if only for a little while.
And so, I would like to do what little I can to share that sense of being. It is Monday, much to my friend Garfield's dismay. I am back to work. I imagine you may be too. There are things I feel the need to escape from right now. I imagine there may be things you feel the need to escape from too. We can't, and shouldn't, expect to escape completely–there is work to be done and people to care for. But it is important too, I think, to make sure you understand you are here, wherever your here is. To take a moment to enjoy beautiful things under less-than-beautiful conditions. To let yourself be at rest. And while I cannot place you in the woods to sit and meditate or write poetry or twiddle your thumbs or try to remember the names of early 2000s comedic actors who have shied away from the limelight in the years since sharing the screen with a certain lasagna-loving feline, I can shut my virtual mouth a little bit earlier than usual and share what I have seen around the reserve the past couple of weeks with you. They are simply pictures, but I hope they can at least help in reminding you that there are nice things.