I’ve been reading my classmates blogs and thinking about what a unique opportunity we have in this class to vicariously experience in real-time nature, animals, weather and more in so many different locations. Think about it. If we were all taking this class at Chatham, we would all be limited to the area near Pittsburgh. Granted there is diversity there, too. But I delight in reading about Mark Anthony’s friend rabbit http://marnature.blogspot.com/; Becca’s woodpeckers, doves and her mockingbird http://backyardtransliteration.blogspot.com/; Johnny’s unseasonable 12 inches of snow http://johnny-borderlands.blogspot.com/; Kristin’s pigs and dandelions http://naturalkristin.blogspot.com/;Mel’s nightwalks http://artemisiawild.blogspot.com/ and Amanda communing with the moon http://agorecki85.blogspot.com/; Dory’s dichotomy of Florida and New England http://doryperry.blogspot.com/ and Elaina’s delight at her first view of the majestic saguaro http://elainasnatureblog.blogspot.com/. I felt the same way, Elaina. I couldn’t believe they were real and that big!
My point is that while Elaina and I are enjoying what passes for spring in the desert with temperatures in the 60’s, we read about your frozen landscapes up north. Our memories of childhood places are colored by the places where we live and work now. To travel through these small intimate gardens and woods with classmates that we haven’t met, gives us a different perspective and insight on our own nature writing place. I used to love living where there were distinct seasons with fall color and winter snows. That’s what I knew growing up, too. But now I read about where you are and I look at my desert with renewed interest. My classmates’ points of view encourage me to be more objective and observant with my own nature writing because I know people will read it who don’t know the desert, perhaps have never lived in this kind of environment. Even though Elaina and I are both in the desert, our deserts are not at all the same. Her red rocks might seem strange and unusual after my familiarity with the Franklin and Organ Mountains.
I think our diversity of environments and locations in our small class should be celebrated. We have an excellent opportunity for seeing the world through each other’s eyes. I can’t wait to see what spring brings for all of us.
16 February 2009