Aaaaannnddd, That’s a Wrap (almost)

“I know for me, whenever I needed a distraction from the news, working on our Soothing Nature videos has been a wonderful way to decompress. If you’re in a particularly wintery mood, check out one of my favorite Soothing Nature moments and spend an hour in snowy Yellowstone.” Karen Ho Social Media Specialist for NATURE

I had to laugh when I read this in my email this morning, an email from PBS. During one of the more fraught moments of this year I sought “soothing” by watching nature films. Seriously, all I got in terms of “soothing” from that was the understanding that we’re just participating in one of those nature dramas. After watching a mother moose abandon her calf in a swollen stream, watching one older sibling bird offer up his younger brother to the hungry eagle, and the mating ritual of about a hundred gaudy male birds dancing and singing “Let’s get it on,” to the gray female, blasé and assured in her understated elegance, no. Anyone who’s “soothed” by nature videos doesn’t get it.

The email is accompanied by photos of wolves killing buffalo followed by a headline, “Cold Warriors: Wolves and Buffalo — Discover how wolves and buffalo live together in what seems like a forgotten corner of the world.” The implication? Depends how you read it. It could be that the interdependence of prey and predator keeps both animal (groups, not individuals) alive or it could be deep irony.

Yesterday I got an extraordinary book, Gates of the Arctic National Park: Twelve Years of Wilderness Exploration by Joe Wilkins. It’s a “coffee table” book in format but not in content, though it is full of incredible photographs. The writing is beautiful and, in the midst of one lovely, descriptive sentence after another came this gem, “Mud is very informative.” I love tracks and reading the stories left in the night, and, that simple clause, dropped in the middle of some very elegant description revealed the man.

On this New Years Eve, when I think back on 2020, I’m surprised that I’m not fixated on the virus and the politics and attenuating bullshit. I just see what I did (paintings), what made summer not-so-bad-at-all (Scarlet Emperor Beans and friends) and how I dealt with the demands of, yeah, nature. I learned yesterday that I’m likely to get a vaccination in spring — which is what I always expected from the beginning of the pandemic — and, meanwhile, it is this beautiful cold season where there is always the hope of snow. I’d like more than hope, but hope’s not so bad. In a week or so I will get the first shipment of books to evaluate for the writing contest for which I am a judge. I’m busy restocking my Etsy store in anticipation of spring. I deeply appreciate this “neighborhood” which has been a big part of these several months not being lonely and RDP for helping me wake up with a purpose on the days that didn’t start so well, a purpose beyond the dishes waiting in the sink. So, hoping for better things for all of us in 2021, I wish you all a…

Happy New Year!

33 thoughts on “Aaaaannnddd, That’s a Wrap (almost)

  1. Joe Wilkins is a wonderfully eloquent writer. He grew up in Eastern Montana, but now hangs his hat about 50 miles from where I’m sitting.

    Happy New Year. We’ll have to be patient and give 2021 some time to be better that 2020.

  2. 2020 has been a terrible year on many levels — it will be difficult to turn things around, but there is hope for 2021! Happy New Year!

  3. Happy New Year to you, Martha! Getting through January might be a bit taxing, but I am optimistic that it’s all uphill from there.

  4. Well, thank you. I joined your blogsphere about three months ago, and have really enjoyed the posts I’ve read. You keep us informed of daily happenings that reflect the bigger picture. I only found you as I was looking to see who else wrote and then used the blogoshere to share their writing. Not many. The few writing blogs I found ( not reading groups) were fantasy, childrens and teen. Curiously, I haven’t found many/any fiction/non-fiction blogs just about writing.” I wrote this, here it is”. Not about the monment. Not news. Writing. your writing is lovely. Thank you. Happy new year.

  5. The notion that nature is relaxing and soothing is a recent invention. There was a time when nature was something to be profoundly feared. We were part of the menu.

    That fear largely continued right up to the Romantic era. Even then, most of the people who most felt relaxed by nature were the ones who didn’t have to deal with it as a matter of survival. It is why man “conquering” nature was such a prominent theme. Few hardscrabble farmers, struggling to survive blizzards and droughts and floods and crop devouring insects and livestock devouring predators, would have relaxed at the thought of unfettered nature.

    Who trusted God was love indeed
    And love Creation’s final law
    Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
    With ravine, shriek’d against his creed

    The voyageurs and long hunters and pioneers who went out into the wild for extended times were considered real heroes. Nature was thought a dangerous and formidable adversary, not a thing of casual relaxation. The “savages” we encountered were thought a part of that threat rather than being another branch on the family tree of humanity.

    I realize that in my back yard there are a thousand tiny life and death struggles at any moment. It is affluence and technology that allows me to enjoy myself without uneasiness in the tiny patches of wildness we still have left. And more than a bit of prudence is called for, even for a majestic and all-conquering man, when you’re ten miles from the trailhead.

  6. Good wrap and tales of nature. If everyone could just live within nature but…..sigh…
    Thanks for joining in and Happy New Year Martha 🙂

  7. Martha! Happy New Year! I am so anxious to kick 2020 to the curb and welcome 2021 into my home. I’ve spent so much time trying to figure out a way to “spin” the events of this last year into some sort of positive experience that I nearly neglected to prepare for this new year. To celebrate I’ve got sparkling Red Grape Juice and home made cookies for that midnight toast and nosh. Give Bear and Teddy a squeeze from me and accept my wishes for a better tomorrow!

    • Val I wish you and Sparky a very happy start to a better new year! Bear is sleeping right beside me and Teddy is asleep in the chair. I don’t think they’ll notice that, in a few hours, we’ll be in a new year, but I’ll hug them for you anyway. 🙂 ❤

Comments are closed.