I used to think the top environmental problems were biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and climate change, I thought that with thirty years of good science we could address those problems. But I was wrong. The top environmental problems are selfishness, greed, and apathy…and to deal with those we need a spiritual and cultural transformation, and we scientists don’t know how to do that.
~ Gus Speth
The entrancement with industrial civilization…must be considered as a profound cultural disorientation. It can be dealt with only by a corresponding deep cultural therapy.
…At such a moment a new revelatory experience is needed, an experience wherein human consciousness awakens to the grandeur and sacred quality of the Earth process. This awakening is our human participation in the dream of the Earth….We probably have not had such participation in the dream of the Earth since earlier shamanic times, but therein lies our hope for the future for ourselves and for the entire Earth community.
~ Thomas Berry
This autumn has been magical, filled with wonders and delights. It has created a problem that I’m not quite sure how to solve.
I have taken far too many photos. I still have hundreds to sort through from our trip to West Virginia and my hike up at Trap Pond State Park last week.
No autumn here on the Eastern Shore seems complete unless I visit Pocomoke River State Park (which is where I think quite a few of my Walktober walks have taken place since we moved here). M and I decided to head out there last weekend. Normally I would be showing you the trees around the small pond on the Shad Landing part of the park and the Trail of Change, but M and I decided to branch out and explore some trails we’ve never hiked before. What this means, of course, is that I now have almost 200 more photos to add to my Autumn of 2021 collection.
What in the world am I going to do with so many images? Well…
I reckon I’m going to share some of them with you. I am thinking, too, that once the leaves fall and we enter the gray-ish days of late autumn and winter, we might appreciate seeing the colors of fall. That means I’ll be able to stretch them out for a few months. Unless, of course, something else to share comes along. That is usually the way of things.
Pocomoke River State Park has a lot of trails that are not within the main part of the park (where you find the Trail of Change, the park office and store, the campgrounds, the marina, etc.). The problem we had last Sunday during our explorations was figuring out how to get on the trail we wanted to hike. The map we have is not up to date. But M and I are both good with a map and navigation. M is particularly good at direction. I don’t know how many times over the years we’ve gotten lost on back roads that were not on any map and M has gotten us to where we wanted to go/be using the compass in his head. My sense of direction is not as good as his, but I can read a map really well since I am the primary navigator on our trips.
At first we tried walking from the main part of the park, thinking there might be a way to cross the Mattaponi Creek to get to the trail we wanted to hike. No dice. The tide was coming in and the creek was too high and wide for us to cross. That is likely the case anytime, high or low tide. We were hoping for a bridge, but I would venture to guess that putting in a bridge might not be worth the bother. Few people go out that way, for one thing, and the vagaries of the river and tides and swamp might mean the bridge would eventually get washed away.
Mattaponi, it is said, means “the people of the river” although I’m not sure how or why this particular creek was given this name. There is a Mattaponi River (and tribe, for whom the river is named) located in Central Virginia’s Piedmont area. Perhaps they lived in this area as well, or visited with the Pocomoke People who were the original inhabitants of these lands.
We did get in a nice little walk alongside the Pocomoke River before reaching the dead end of the creek. It’s a short and beautiful hike, just past the dock and the marina.
The ideal way to explore this area is by kayak or canoe. We have not done that yet. I’m not sure why. It’s on our list of things to do. Perhaps we’ll get around to doing that when the weather warms up next spring.
While we enjoy the short hike along the river, I will tell you that I got my booster shot this week. I thought I might have to wait until later in the year, but luck (or something) was with me. I called our local health department on Wednesday morning and was originally told that nothing was available until December. I was okay with that. It’s only been a little over six months since my second shot and I understand there are others who might need a booster sooner than I do. Then the very nice woman I talked with asked where I live and when she found out I wasn’t far from the health department she said they’d had a cancellation for that afternoon and could I stop by then? Why yes, I could. And I did. I was grateful for the opening and for the opportunity to get boosted before the holidays. Because we do have plans for the holidays.
I wasn’t sure what to expect with the booster. The first shot left me tired and with a sore arm, neither of which lasted more than a day or two. The second brought about a stronger response (and some unusual but not unheard of symptoms) that lasted about two to three days. The booster was a whoa!! As I put it on IG, it kicked my ass. I was laid out for two days. Less than 24 hours after the shot, I was in so much pain. Deep, down in my bones and joints, pain. The worst of that lasted most of the day on Thursday. By evening I was still full of aches but it was less pain. Friday I felt like I was recovering from a long illness. Today I feel almost normal again.
I am amazed by the range of responses people have to the vaccines. Some have almost no symptoms (one person I know didn’t even have a sore arm!). Some, like myself, have strong responses. Apparently it makes no difference whether the response is strong or none at all in terms of whether or not the shot is working. It’s just part of the diversity of bodies, not an indication of whether or not your immune system is strong or working harder.
Looks like it’s time for me to get a move on. Thank you so much for dropping by today and joining me on another hike. Hopefully we can finish it soon. If not, sometime after Thanksgiving. As I mentioned above, I will be spending the time with family. I hope you will be able to spend time with friends and/or family, too, in some way or another. Happy Thanksgiving to those of you celebrating it. I’m not entirely sure how I want to honor the day in a decolonized way. I’m still sorting all of that out as I unlearn and then learn. Right now I’m centered on gratitude and love and listening. I hope that’s a good start.
Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. Sunset is scheduled for 4:47 PM. We’ve been having some lovely, peaceful sunsets lately. Not sure what today will bring, but that’s always the case. Bundle up. It’s cold outside and even colder near the water.
Please be safe, be well, and be love. ♥♥♥
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,916) This beautiful day we’ve been gifted. 1,917) Friends, family, love. 1,918) Being able to get a booster shot. 1,919) Having a vaccine that protects us. 1,920) Chickpea piccata with mashed potatoes and arugula for dinner yesterday. It’s one of my favorite meals. There is something comforting about it. (A friend and I are having a Potato Fest to keep us warm and happy and comforted over the darker days of winter. One potato dish a week. Something special or comforting or that you crave. We started this week and my first dish was the chickpea piccata with mashed potatoes. I’m thinking about a potato soup for next week, but we’ll see what the holidays bring.)