The Suitcase Lady


January 29, 2013, 10:11 pm

The idea is brilliant in its simplicity. About five years ago, I read about a gentleman from the 1800’s who recorded a one or two sentence observation from nature each day. He faithfully made his notations for decades. I immediately wanted to do the same.

My husband and I moved to the country 17 years ago to slow down our lives. I was born and raised in a big city: I will always love the diversity, excitement, art and architecture a large city offers. But the noise and pace of city life can drown out the subtleties of nature. We have chosen to make city visits the exclamation points in our quieter, country life.

I now have recorded five years of daily events. These notes are the opposite of keeping a diary. A diary is about the “me”….what I am doing or what someone is doing to me. In my nature log, I am merely an observer to the daily wonders.

Some sample entries:

July 3, 2008 – Crow walking and tapping on the skylights at dawn…a big racket!

April 29, 2009 – Marsh marigolds starting to bloom, the gnats return.

June 2, 2010 – Mom raccoon brings her 6 new babies to The Tooley Cafe.

March 10, 2011 – The goldfinches are turning yellow.

October 3, 2012 – A coyote is out at noon looking for lunch in the newly cut field across the road. He trots off into the corn.

January 18, 2013 – A vivid magenta and pink sunset is reflected in the eastern sky.

Thich Naht Hanh would call this exercise mindfulness and scientists would call it observation. To me, it is taking notice.

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