Curious Nature: Every adventure becomes a story
Walking Mountains Science Center
In some ways, each season is a new story of life unfolding, and springtime just might be the most action-packed chapter of all. Every little event seems full of promise of great things to come, of buds turning to leaves and flowers to fruit. The potential is awesome. So many stories go by each day, and we probably miss most of them just because we’re not looking.
Even the most ordinary of walks can turn into a story. For example, where I work, we park at the bottom of the road and walk up to our office. It’s probably about 200 yards and it takes about 10 minutes to make the walk. And when I’m in a hurry, I park, grab my things, do a quick check to make sure I didn’t forget my phone, and hurry up the path as I start to plan for my morning. But on those days when I remember to breathe and look around, I’ve noticed so many things.
Most recently, I noticed a pair of tiny little birds flitting about in the willows. I watched them for a few minutes, and after checking my trusty Audubon app, I think they were warbling vireos. As they flitted away, I headed up the path, and despite the fact that I walk this path nearly every day, and these rocks have been there for months (albeit covered with snow until recently), I noticed that the new landscaping rocks are much different from the sandstones that they used throughout the earlier phase of construction.
There were igneous rocks, beyond the typical granite, including diorite and something else I didn’t have time to examine closely. And while there were still quite a few sandstones, there were other sedimentary rocks as well, including two really nice conglomerates.
But there were still more exciting discoveries waiting around the corner on my short walk. When I reached the trails, I turned right, off the road, taking what I call “the scenic route” into the office. I was hoping that I might see the little cottontail rabbit that frequented the wetlands, or at least his tracks, but there was no sign of him. But I could hear the birds singing sporadically in the shrubby wetlands, but I didn’t spot any. Mostly chickadees from the calls, but there were some others that I couldn’t recognize too.
When I reached the front door, I wasn’t quite ready to go inside yet. So I walked around the sidewalk to the staff entrance, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine as I left the shade of the building. I walked slowly now, pausing to look at the rock wall above the visitor parking spaces, hoping to catch a glimpse of the weasel that used to frequent the crevices there as she hunted for mice and voles. But the weasel wasn’t around this morning, and so I rounded the final corner, entered my code into the keypad, and went to work.
Sometimes a day seems very ordinary, even mundane, until you think back over it later. Often the significance of an event doesn’t become realized until you relive it, as a story you share. But as I entered the building and got settled at my desk, I kept my story to myself. And while my head moved onto the tasks of the day, my heart was still warmed from my tiny little adventure.
At least, until now.
And just by sharing it, my morning has become a story, with a beginning, middle, and end, and a point. And that point is that there are many stories to be made, and they are yours for the taking. Seize the day this springtime, and find your own story.
Jaymee Squires is the Director of Graduate Programs at Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon. She is eagerly looking forward to the stories of this upcoming spring and summer and hopes that all your stories have happy endings.