NaPoWriMo Day 24: Interference

Interference

We pride ourselves on science

Rational thought

Methodology

And sound research

Yet there is so much mystery in nature

We cannot outsmart it

Yet we seek to control it

To the point where

It’s not nature anymore

Sterilized

Humanized

And urbanized

Let nature be natural

Wild

Free

And unpredictable

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NaPoWriMo day 15! Half way point: Thunder and Lightning

Before I did this challenge, it had been ages since I regularly wrote poems to express myself. I gave up calling myself a writer in my first year of college back in 2004. I wanted to write poems and other stuff every day. But when I shared my writing, people would tell me my poems that followed a particular form were done wrong, or just said really mean things because they could. So in my immaturity at the time, I gave up! I’m really glad I’m doing this now though. I am hesitant to write any kind of stylized poem except a haiku, possibly because of the past, but also because I like to make my own rules or lack thereof. I’ve been having a lot of fun doing these and it’s a helpful and a nice way to think about the subject I’m exploring/studying through the poems.

I think after this is over I won’t limit myself as much to my poem subject matter and write on my own. I’ll share the ones I think are really good here still…but less frequently so I have room to write other things. 🙂 

Today I want to write a poem in honor of my uncle, who died when I was five years old. He was studying environmental science and taught my family about recycling before it was widely practiced. He also taught us to cut up plastic items that could strangle wildlife, and various other environmentally friendly concepts. He inspires me to continue on this path of educating others about the environment, animal protection, human rights, and all the intersections of social justice.

I think I might write several poems about him in the next few days or so. 

 

 

Thunder and Lightning

The thunder boomed

The lightning flashed

I cowered in fear, crying

You took me under your wing

I was safe

As we sat on the step outside

Watching the sky

My fear was replaced

With awe and respect

And every time the sky rumbles and flashes

I think of you

 

NaPoWriMo Day 6:

I’ve been on a big kick about complaining about plastic waste and pollution of the oceans lately in my poetry. For me it’s one of the most disturbing environmental trends because it’s so easily preventable and has such a profound effect.These poems may sound a bit like a broken record. I wanted to write one more about the whales I keep seeing talked about on facebook and the internet news sites. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-norfolk-35926455 — this is just one of many reports. It’s so upsetting because whales are facing enough problems in the ocean, and this is so easily preventable. It’s simple–do your part to be mindful of the waste you create, and don’t allow it to be dumped into the ocean!

I think tomorrow I’ll try to write about another topic…

It’s our fault

Dead whales wash ashore

People rush to solve the mystery

Opening its stomach

Inside lays a heap of plastic garbage and such

Gulped up

Too big to pass through

Polyethylene terephthalate

Is not a nutrient

 

It IS our fault

But it WAS preventable

We are complacent

But we can take action

We need to

Before

The Earth

Becomes a graveyard

 

Field Trip #3 Saturday, March 6

Field Trip #3 Saturday, March 6

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When I was given the task to go on nature field trips, in my mind I had quite ambitious goals for where I’d go when the weather improved. I wanted to go to all the prettiest, coolest, most challenging locations I could find. Some would require a bit of driving. But then in practice, something else happened once I started doing them. I wanted to find the cool trails and nature areas, without having to travel much at all. Last Saturday, I drove less than five minutes to an elementary school I had attended as a child that has a nature path behind it that I had never once explored. I could have walked there instead of driving, it would have been better for me and the environment, but I was somewhat short on time.

I couldn’t figure out the name of the nature trail until I visited it again yesterday, and took the picture above. It’s called the Hampton Meadows Greenbelt, located in the town of Barrington, RI.

The first thing I noticed was the duck pond. There were lots of Mallard ducks being quite vocal actually. I wish there was a way to attach the video of their noises I took here. This picture will have to suffice:

duck pond 1

I first focused on exploring the area with trails directly behind the school, but there wasn’t much there really.

Then I found a longer path on the other side of the pond which was quite nice. There were so many bird sounds, aside from the ducks off in the distance.

The trail was pretty well kept. In the muddy areas there are wood paths to cross over as pictured in the picture to the right above.

One thing I noticed was a lot of downed trees and some that looked like they were chopped to clear a path when the trees would be otherwise blocking the trail. I wonder what the rules and regulations for this sort of stuff is, because I know you can get in trouble for disturbing the trees, but I don’t know if that applies to when they’re down.

Here’s a series of photos I took of fallen trees. We have had some severe weather over the past few years that has probably contributed to this issue.

I also came across a tree branch that was in a perfect arch shape, and wondered how it got like that:

perfectly round

 

I was intrigued by these patches of green:

There is a stream that runs alongside the trail for part of the time:

stream

I was sad that I was short on time, because I was enjoying my walk in these woods so much, and the trail seemed to go on indefinitely from what I could see, that I was wanting to explore more.

I ended up doing so a few days later, on Wednesday with my mom who had also never been here before.

I was in awe that there are such beautiful places to explore so close to me, and I can’t wait to visit more frequently and see the changes the seasons bring.

 

 

Nature Field Trip #2 Saturday February 27

Nature Field Trip #2 Saturday February 27

On Saturday, February 27th, I planned to go to a Yoga for Athletes workshop by a vegan couple called Yogi Triathlete. Since it was a bit out of the way from where I live, I decided to go exploring in that area. I don’t know North Kingstown, Rhode Island well at all, so I googled some stuff and decided upon a nature trail I could explore that was convenient to the yoga studio. I arrived at Wilson Park, and at first was a bit nervous because it didn’t seem very natural at all. It had a grassy field, lots of parking lots, a softball field, playground equipment, etc. I gave it the benefit of the doubt though, and after I parked, started walking to the wooded area visible to my eyes.

This led to a bike path, which led to a path through the woods. I saw another path through brush and vines and started following it, but it became too thick and I wasn’t sure where it’d even lead to. I kept getting stuck in thorny vines too and it wasn’t pleasant.

I turned back…and followed the paved path for a bit. It looked like this:

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Eventually I found another path, which took me here:

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I stood here for awhile, taking it all in. It was windy and I could hear birds and the rustling of the grass and trees. There were also wind chimes and other human-caused noises I could hear. It’s not pictured but I could see several buildings and boats from where I was standing if I turned around a bit.

After awhile of being there, I went back out to the path and eventually came to a place where there was another big parking lot. It led to the shore and quite nice:

I explored a bit more, there were some boats turned over and a boat filled with ice that I saw. The only other people there were a father and his boys exploring as well.

After staying for a few minutes, I turned around and took the walk through the path back to my car. I was a little fearful I would forget the path I took like I did with my last field trip, but I was paying more attention this time.

I only documented one blatant piece of litter…

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Overall, this area seemed pretty well kept. I even saw this sign by the water:

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There weren’t many people here, but I became a little nervous that I was so far away from my car and all alone. I started wishing  I was at least with a dog like most of the other people I encountered, if not another human. In fact, I let myself daydream a bit too much about one day having a dog. But, I tried to calm myself and enjoy the nature. Maybe I had difficulty with being present because it wasn’t as beautiful and interesting as my first field trip and I was sort of disappointed. I certainly got plenty of time to be mindful in the yoga class later on that day though!

 

To spring forward I must slow down first

 

IMG_7044The winter has always been my enemy. I have always dealt with frustration and lack of inspiration during this time. Every time this season comes along I long to plot an escape from the dreary darkness and move somewhere consistently warm and bright.

I like palm trees a lot…I envision those in my head frequently. I feel a warm sun beaming down on a body that is considerably less bundled up than I am now. It is so tempting to dream of getting up and moving that sometimes it feels like that’s all I can do to survive.

The funny thing is that although I start dreading the winter at the end of fall, I don’t really feel hopelessly frustrated or a lack energy to do things until the end of winter. I knew this was a pattern for me but I had never paid enough attention to the actual month all this seems to happen until now.

I realized that this happens every February. February is usually the last month of the season that really feels wintery. Sometimes we get some “spring previews” of unpredictably warm weather that makes me long for spring even more.

A few weeks before February rolls around, I slow down a lot. I am stagnant. I feel the need to take care of myself above all else. I feel guilty for not being as active as I am the rest of the year and assume that means something is wrong with me or my choices. It can be especially hard when I’m in school and letting my work take a backseat to self care. It’s as if I am a bear hibernating.

When February comes, I am frustrated by this slowness. I am restless. I am suddenly much more aware that I have not been as active as I would like and it triggers some discomfort. As a result, I feel the need to make drastic changes. I want a rebirth of sorts.

The problem  with that is that I seem to get confused by the type of rebirth I need to experience. Instead of seeing the winding down I do in winter as a natural cycle, I typically see it as a sign something is wrong with what I am doing and that I need to change that instead. But that is not the case. In fact, I need to realize that, when spring comes, I will be back to my normal organized, busy, focused, dedicated and active self. That is the rebirth I long for, not this other stuff I fantasize about.

 

I had never thought about it this way before. Now that I have I feel much more relaxed and can be easier on myself. It is OK that I have slowed down. In fact, it is necessary and good for me. Come March, I will feel a lot better about most situations. I will be able to focus on things other than myself again.

And when I realize that it’s February 12, that there are only a few weeks left of this historically crappy month for me, where I always seem to feel better soon after it ends, it makes me hopeful. Just a few more weeks. I can get through it even if I do feel restless and annoyed with myself sometimes. I need to stop feeling guilty for not wanting to do as much, because I know I will want to do it all and more come the beginning of Spring.