Let’s put sleep issues aside for a moment (ahem!) and try and focus on the beauty around us, shall we?! Life has a funny way of coming full circle, using our past to influence our future. I was an environmental science major in college, and I had dreams of becoming a park ranger. Living in a little hut in a majestic National Park somewhere out west, studying the ecosystems and saving endangered species. After spending a summer on Cape Cod trying to protect shorebirds, and a stint in New Zealand studying an endangered skink (a member of the lizard family) species, I decided I wasn’t cut out for conservation work. It can be incredibly tedious, and often it seems that no progress is being made. I was too impatient. I cut my losses, and fled to the city (Chicago, that is) after graduation to work in the non-profit world.
I occasionally have regrets when it comes to my choice of majors…especially these days, when I am passionate about writing and photography. I can’t help but imagine what I could have done if I had studied those in college. And yet, my background informs so much of what I write about these days. Conservation, sustainability and the natural world continue to be my favorite subjects. Case in point- while in Michigan, I took an afternoon to check out the owls at the Cranbrook Science Center’s Bat Zone. The owls who call this place their home were all injured, and after being rehabilitated, were unable to be released into the wild. Aren’t they extraordinarily majestic?
I often wonder how different my life would have been if I had followed my original plan. Perhaps I would be living in that hut right now, saving the world one species at a time And yet I am so thankful that my winding path has taken me here, to a place where I get to be a mom, a writer, a photographer, and an educator. Now, I pass along my knowledge to my boys, and it is my hope that I will infuse them with a great love of the natural world. I am quite certain it’s the most important job I will ever have.