Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Wild Plants and Wooly Bears

The life of a freelance writer has many drawbacks. But it also has certain merits, one of which is the great amount of personal freedom that such a life allows.

Sometimes, at least for me, a new day dawns and I wake up to find that I have no definite plans and no demands upon my time. Today being such a day, the topic of free time seems a fit topic for discussion.

In years past, rural folk had seasons when besides the daily chores, there really was little to do. That’s when people read, studied, fished, walked in the woods, played music and did just about what they wanted to do. For most people, that idyllic lifestyle seems no more than a dot on the i of the far distant past.

This being late November, I feel the call to sit on the beech ridge out back and wait for a deer to come by. But a Northeast storm filtered in during the night and now, rain, some wet snow and gale-force winds make that an unpleasant proposition. So I sit inside and watch the flames dance through the glass door of my woodstove. Later, I’ll work on one of my long-term projects. I have yet to decide whether that will be an unfinished novel or perhaps, the picture presentation of wild plants that I want to put together as a teaching tool.

In years past, I would drive down to the bay and watch spray flying off the tops of wind-whipped waves. But now, I find it more enjoyable to sit inside and watch through the window as pine trees whip and flex in the wind.

It’s a good day to put a pot of beans together, and to watch black-capped chickadees as they fly back and forth between the woods edge and a bird feeder hung on a plum tree in front of the house. But whatever I do today is solely my decision. It’s my time and I cherish it. A day such as today has worth far beyond any monetary gain that might present itself. Money can buy almost anything except time. And this is my time.

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