Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm Baaa-ck

Wild Plants and Wooly Bears

My blog has been absent for a while, and I must apologize for that. Further, I want to explain why. About 10 months ago, I suffered a huge, financial loss. The newspaper chain I worked for was bought out by an out-of-state interest. This group had gotten a grant and had a new plan for running papers, a plan that included not paying writers and journalists. Instead, they would rely upon non-professionals who were happy to contribute solely for the purpose of seeing their names in print. So after 22 years, I was canned.

The hurt, which I took personally, never stopped. Until today. This needs further explanation. In addition to the newspaper work, I write for magazines. I have written for a regional magazine for about as long as I did the newspapers. This has been my economic salvation. In addition, I have gotten some new accounts, but these are not sufficient to pay bills. “What would happen if my magazine goes under?” I was swamped with what-if’s and undue worry.

And so I suffered. “How will I get by? What will happen to me?” Even worse, I stopped enjoying nature. I worried about what the people over me said, to the point that my stomach was constantly tied in knots, trying to please and appease.

I knew something was wrong when I went out on a sunny, warm spring morning and instead of basking in the glory of nature, worried about my economic status. Clearly, I was in trouble.

But no more, no more. Today, April 26, 2009, I had an epiphany. None of us will live forever. Each day is precious. So I see that worrying, trying to please people for some little sum of money is the ultimate in self-abuse. Whatever happens, economically, I will no longer trade my happiness for some vague idea of financial security.

As a forager, I know that I can get by. Maybe I’ll need to rely upon my outdoor skills more than ever. And just maybe, something good will come along and lift me out of these economic doldrums. But never again will I trade one, happy spring day for needless worry.

I thank God that I have the ability to see my foibles and to change my ways. Now, I can once again go out and enjoy the nature that I so love, to the fullest.

I urge every reader to adopt a similar mindset. Each day is precious, especially when spent enjoying the immense beauty of creation.

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