A DORK (Delightful Overthinker of Random Knowledge) friend asked today if any of us had read anything by Barry Holstun Lopez. We had not. Another DORK shared a link to the NPR remembrance they did of him this week, as he passed on Christmas Day after a long battle with cancer. That brief piece inspired me to complete the nature journaling I wanted to do this week.
2020 is almost gone and we typically look back and ahead to what we hope for and aspire to in the coming new year. I have much to say on those in Verbostratis.com but wanted to pull my nature-based thoughts out separately and place them down in my journal and in this blog.
Mr. Lopez wrote extensively and focused on slowing down to notice what is really there. I’ve been doing that with my journaling, but I hope 2021 finds me doing it more consistently and for longer periods of time. Truly seeing. Truly noticing. Truly documenting.
Barry Lopez was intimately aware of both personal and global despair and devastation. Can I demonstrate grace in 2021? Can I not give up? Mr. Lopez spent 30 years on his last book and was inspired by the beaver in his local waterways to keep going back to the tasks at hand. Can I try to help build some things in 2021 that will make others and myself feel safe, loved, and capable as Mr. Lopez hoped to do in his life?
I hope 2021 is a year of light for people. I think it could be a year like an acorn cracking from its shell and sending out that first tiny but vital taproot and leaves to face the elements. Nothing guaranteed. But the potential for some amazing living down the next couple of centuries.
Personally, I hope to savor many sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures in wild spaces. I want to spend some time under the stars and in a waterfall. I hope my circle challenges and grows with me. I want to read at least 5 nature-themed books from 5 different authors, including Mr. Lopez.
These are all wishes, not demands. If we can only have one thing, let it be a sense of unity. We can each inspire one another if we understand we’re together. Let’s do this.