January 07, 2017

Today I'm The Producer

Today I'm The Producer 
By John R. Greenwood

Here is a voice recording of the essay below: Today I'm The Producer

Mrs. G and I finally finished packing up the Christmas decorations and getting them nestled into their eleven month home in the attic. Every year the process becomes less festive and more business like. By the time the de-decoration process is complete I become unfriendly. We were a few days into the New Year and I needed a nature fix. My wife sensed my itchy britches and suggested a walk might be the answer. Not being one to argue (the author smiles), I grabbed my camera, a bottle of water, and headed to my favorite mind healer, Doctor Moreau. 

It was cold but, not too cold—windy, but not too windy—sunny but sunny in a way that emphasized the cold and the wind. I’ll take it. I was surprised to see the parking lot lined with pickup trucks wearing caps and Subaru’s topped with racks. Moments later the mystery was cleared up when I broke through the trees and saw all the ice fishermen on the lake. I was glad I was just there for a walk. Ice fishing in the wind has the same enjoyment factor as putting away Christmas decorations.

I had my snowshoes on although I really didn't need them. The snow wasn’t that deep, even in the woods, but the cleats on the bottoms provided a catlike grip as I crunched across the lake with icy crispness. 

There were dabs of fishermen in various spots on the small lake. A young couple with a energetic child could be heard laughing on the playground equipment usually draped with a bus load of giggling children. Today, despite the cold, they were able to enjoy each other as a solitary group of three. Those precious moments are cherished and rare. I kept enough distance to share their joy by ear, the smiles of happiness vividly clear in my head. 

My hike today was less about stretching my legs and more about exercising my spirit. Whenever I find myself in need of a tow, I always default to Mother Nature. She never lets me down. The quiet of the lake and the mountain that ran its edge, sprinkled with men in wool hats and tip-ups, slowly brought me back to center. I shed my pack and sat on a bench strategically placed at one end of the lake. I pulled out a bottle of water, a Fig Newton two-pack, and my camera. I had the best seat in the county and I was grateful. The sun and walking had neutralized the cold. I was warmed from the outside in. 

When I have a chance to watch CBS Sunday Morning I especially enjoy the end where they share a short clip of nature. There is no commentary, only the voices of red-winged black birds or trumpeting elk. I always wish they'd share more. 

Today I'm the producer. 

I just sat there.