The Short and Sweet:
I’m Lindsay. I live full-time in an RV. Every day I am astounded by the Wonderments of Nature. With poems, essays, and photographs, I capture glimpses of my experiences in the great outdoors to share with you.
I hope you enjoy! Thank you for visiting.
I’d love to know what you think! I heart comments and always welcome mail: email@example.com
The Long Story:
The exact moment when it clicked for me, I was pedaling a rented bike across the island of Miyakojima to see a famous rock formation, when I saw an old woman tilling a small parcel of land with a yak. She had to be at least 70, tanned and wrinkled and somewhat hunched. But she looked healthy and strong as she walked beside her yak, patting him gently and talking to him in Japanese. She looked up, smiled at me, and then returned to her work. Her humble, molded concrete home and garden sat at the edge of miles of open land, with panoramic views of the island and the ocean beyond. I felt a moment of clarity, an instant recognition that that was what life was meant to be. Simple, modest, intimately connected with the outdoors, and surrounded by the natural beauty of a minimally developed world. And that moment became the compass that directed me to the life I live today.
Most people return from vacation rejuvenated and ready to jump back into work and life with a new-found vigor. But I came back feeling like a time traveler stuck in some crazy dimension where everything seemed backwards and absurd. That woman’s life stood in such stark contrast to my own, it heightened the feeling that I was living life all wrong. At the time I was part of Bukowski’s “Lucky Ones”, dutifully employed and living life in my car as I drove around nurturing a civilized life. I was living on Okinawa at the time, in an apartment full of things that was squeezed into a concrete landscape devoid of anything green. And suddenly, the minutiae of that life that used to concern me seemed trivial. I would try to explain to people the life-altering experience of that moment with the woman on that island. “She was working the land with a yak!” I would say as we worried with typing notes and considered our careers and worked through the sleepiness and the stress.
On my days off, my husband and I would walk along the shoreline and make plans to get that life we had seen on Miyakojima. In fact, we first planned to move there and settle into a little house with a little garden of our own. We got certified in teaching English as a second language and talked endlessly about what it would be like to ride our bikes over the island and grow our own food and live miles and miles from anything considered civilized. Once we started to sell our things, we got caught up in the weightless freedom of owning nothing and decided instead to walk the world, homeless and carrying the few things we needed on our backs. Ultimately, with a feline child to consider, we agreed the RV life would suit us, giving us the meager simplicity we wanted as well as the freedom to travel and live an outdoor life among the least-developed lands of the country.
My first real surprise was how detached from Nature and the outdoors my life had been. I’ve always enjoyed being outside, living in the yard as a kid, enjoying vacations to pretty places, feeling the tug of green spaces and the awe of magnificent landscapes. But in my civilized life, all of that was ancillary to the real stuff. All of the technology and conveniences and accoutrements of normal life allowed me to live pretty well insulated from the machinations of the natural world. I had grown to need Nature emotionally, but I could live my life and survive completely separate from all other life out there.
Now, this life pulls us outside out of necessity. We cook with the heat of the sun and dry clothes in the wind. We have to fetch water and walk to the toilet and wash dishes and rake snow off the house. We are at the mercy of the type of day Nature decides to give us. We depend on the nuances of each season and each cycle of the sun and the moon and schedule our days accordingly. But it also draws us out magnetically, pulling us, mesmerized, toward a new canyon to explore or an intriguing rock formation to climb or some new bird to watch or the next sweeping landscape to inspire marvel and make us grateful for the opportunity to live among it all. It’s the life that’s the opposite of civilized, synced with the rhythms of Nature and with a more intimate connection with the outdoor world.
My second big surprise was realizing all the things I had never seen before. The details of Nature that I missed because I wasn’t really looking. In theory, I knew that plant and animal life was full of great diversity. Now I walk through a riparian canyon or hike along a river trail and I’m blown away by the hundreds of different grasses or flowers or reeds that each have their own intricately arranged parts and unique ways of growing. When I look closely at a single plant, it seems so beautifully designed, full of grace and dignity and an almost anthropomorphic sense of presence. Now, instead of just being aware of the stereotypical, superficial differences among animals I see differences in personality and behaviors as well as the tiny particulars of color and sound. I’ve seen the iridescent blue-green shine of a magpie’s tail feathers on a sunny day, watched a doe teach her twin fawns to find food, and heard the squeak of a nuthatch right before it lands on my hand and sorts through the sunflower seeds before finding the one that feels perfect in its beak. I used to teach resilience and adaptation in the face of stress. Now I stumble across overnight snow caves with tiny prints all about, watch chickadees collect and store food, and see the tiniest wisp of a plant continue to grow and thrive in three feet of snow. All of this set against ever-changing landscapes. One day, I’m climbing to the top of a snow-covered peak, leaning into the void and feeling the power of a gust of wind that can stand you straight up. The next day, I’m walking across a desert floor, evading rattlesnakes and admiring the agility of a jack rabbit as it leaps through a cactus field. And every day, I think back to that moment with the lady and her yak, and I feel so lucky to feel that each moment that I have outside to be as magical as that day.
This is what I hope to share with you. Glimpses into the wonderments of Nature as I see them. To this end, I use my camera and my words. I’m a writer, inspired by what I see. I’m a straight photographer, trying to capture this amazing world as best I can through a lens, without any tricks or manipulation. I hope you feel what I see.
In Magic Moments, I highlight a single experience. Like with a Happening, I was lucky enough to savor a special moment outdoors. One that I may never experience again. The photos and words here will share the magic I felt during these moments.
In Insightful Inspirations, I share the thoughts that Nature inspires in me. Sometimes certain views or experiences make me see life with a changed perspective, appreciate aspects of life more, or simply remind me of other views, thoughts, and experiences. The photos and words here will share these insights.
In Places Pondered, I share tours of places we visit from my perspective as a Nature-lover. We are constantly traveling and seeking out new places to explore, new trails to hike, and new locations to wow us. The photos and words here will share these places with a focus on how they represent the wonders of the outdoors.
Thank you so much for visiting. I hope you enjoy your stay. You’re always welcome.
Are you also in awe of Nature? Does your site seek to celebrate the outdoors? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Share your words or a link to your site below!
© 2019 Lindsay Sears @ soanuthatch.com All Rights Reserved