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Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve

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  Archived Posts From: 2016


Varieties of Experience, Lost & Found

Written on: January 15th, 2016 in Education & OutreachGuest BlogUncategorized

To add variety to the blog and to offer a fresh perspective from our visitors, we are inviting guest bloggers to write posts describing their visits and thoughts while at the Reserve.  The guest blog is brought to you by M.L. Christmas.  Enjoy! (Maggie Pletta, DNERR Education Coordinator & Blog Editor)

Photo Credit M.L. Christmas

Photo Credit M.L. Christmas

Varieties of Experience, Lost & Found

My childhood résumé would have looked something like this: Backyard explorer, cloud & insect inspector, tree climber, rock hunter, and advanced mud-pie maker.

In adulthood, although belying the variety of worthwhile advances it represented, my résumé had become: morning & afternoon commuter, punctuality maintainer, office worker, and grocery shopper.

At what point had the scenery shifted? At what moment did the smoothness of the moss under my feet, or the roughness of the bark under my hands as I pulled myself into the upper branches of my favorite climbing-tree, become a type of contact only to be had through the tip of a pen moving across paper or through fingertips pressing on a computer keyboard? At what point had the experience of nature become…not directly experiential?

The societal expectation for transformation from carefree child to tax-paying adult is insufficient excuse when there is a whole, big world out there beyond our doorsills. When was the last time I was up a tree? Or found an interesting pebble? Or reveled in the gooey glory of mud “dough” well mooshed?

There is something to be said for having an uncluttered focus–and by that I do not mean having a tidied and vacuumed car. Henry David Thoreau exhorted us all to “Simplify, simplify!” I would encourage us to do the same. The clouds and the dragonflies will become more readily seen–and will be right back on one’s résumé.

Photo & text by M. L. Christmas

M.L. Christmas, MSM, is a freelance writer/editor living in the Dover area. She has written dozens of articles for newsletters, newspapers, magazines, and websites. Her work has appeared in local, regional, national and international publications and other venues, and she has written in tones ranging from scholarly to humorous, depending on the audience. She is a longtime member of Delaware Press Association and the National Federation of Press Women. Her approach to nature writing, she says, is part Henry David Thoreau and part Dave Barry.


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