April's Letter from Publisher
Apr 01, 2014 04:21PM
My fondest memories often involve nature in one marvelous form or another. Kayaking Florida waterways, Michigan lakes and rivers or some other adventurous destination, I’ve experienced everything from idly floating downstream to furiously paddling against winds, tides or rapids to stay afloat. On hot days, being dumped overboard can add to the fun.
When I lived in Colorado in my 20s, regular hiking treks provided invigorating workouts. But my favorite rewards were soaking up the sight of summer wildflowers and beautiful mountain vistas. It’s not an adventure until trouble happens, right? I laugh now remembering how I scurried down a mountainside to reach camp before a rainstorm hit.
Though not always advisable, I used to love hiking and camping alone for the opportunities it gave me to silently commune with nature for hours or days. Gazing up at the stars across a cozy campfire is one of life’s best delights. I’m lucky that my daughter Alina now lives in Colorado, near Vail. Cross-country skiing and hiking the local trails has sparked intimate conversations that continue to strengthen our bond.
It’s nature’s little surprises that most connect me with the miraculously intelligent balance that Mother Earth creates and inspires us to embrace: playful dolphins, flittering butterflies, the feel of sand under my toes on a sunset beach walk.
When I was younger, I hiked the mountains with a light and free mind, taking the clear mountain streams for granted and feeling all was well. These days, my wonder is counterbalanced by concerns for the environment and the effect unusual weather patterns are having on fish, bees and other wildlife. While walking on the beach, red tide issues, water quality deterioration and pending oil drilling in Golden Gate and the Everglades weigh on my steps.
I felt more hopeful after I left the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s March 11 public hearing on pending oil drilling planned for South Florida. I am moved by the tremendous turnout of impassioned and informed citizens and local environmental leadership that resulted in extension of the public comment period through the end of March. Please continue to become educated and voice your opinions to save life-giving sources of local water and reject the inevitable environmental degradation and habitat fragmentation that oil drilling would impose on us all. Watch for updates and more opportunities to take action at PreserveOurParadise.org. You can also join the conversation at Facebook.com/swflAgainstFrackingAndDrilling.
In this month’s special Green Living and Earth Day edition, you’ll find lots of tips for things you can do to step lighter on Mother Earth. The good news is that we already have myriad viable solutions in place and just need to implement them. Once we get everyone on board to do what is the highest and best for all that share our home planet, we can keep Mother Earth happy and we’ll all be happier, too. We each have the power to make a difference.
I invite you to sit quietly this month and listen to nature; it’s the best inspiration around for taking action, starting with one new step now. I hope to see you at the many Earth Day events listed in this months issue.