Friday I flew from Syracuse to Detroit to Orlando, journeying solo because my life's adventure partner was presenting at the Compost Fair for Earthday. I like traveling alone for most of the same reasons I have always liked going to movie theatres alone. It feels like an adventure. It's easy to pretend you are anything, and easy to imagine the anonymous public perceives you the same. And with no one to share the event moment-by-moment, I snatch fleeting images and eavesdrop my way into conversations for a story to share later on, which I otherwise would miss.
Looking out the Detroit airport windows, I scanned thousands of feet of concrete runway to a faroff line of leafless trees. Then, looking down, I saw a lone oak leaf blown right under the window. How far had it traveled, carried across the barren blacktop, to land there at my feet? Would it dry and slowly decay to skeleton leaf, battered by bare sun and elements, never to be nibbled by worm or added to insulate a squirrel's nest? Or would another draft carry it further to fate unknown?
In Florida, I spent some time on the pier over the lake by my grandparents' house. Dieter and I were happy to find several alligators a couple days in a row. Two were dark black behemoths, basking their tough armor in the sun. Others were smaller, gliding through the murky water, shiny jade bodies, blinking emerald eyes at the surface. All good reminders of God's power and mystery, and our human fragility and ignorance.
What I learned from playing Scrabble with my family: "Bam" and "Vroom" are not words, but if you play nearly anything with confidence, it will slide, and if you question anything too much, it will always look wrong.
Great blue herons are far bolder in Florida than when they are around here during their summer migrations. I saw them stand and stalk their slippery prey, and pull silver fish from the water in their sharp beaks.
Certain Christians believe that environmental issues and concerns are stemming from a pagan belief system. To me, this means that we need far more Christians confronting the problems of our ecosystem, Christians who are able to defend the earth from a Christ-centered philosophy.