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This was once a beach, as a little girl, I made sand castles upon.

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Then as is often the ways of man, the lake was no longer swimmable. The people left and nature resumed its peaceful existence.

Northern Shovler Mallard Ducks Lake N

The past few years, man has sought to reclaim this land by removing the sediment that he deposited in the lake.

dredger stevenson beach lake neatahwanta

Re-opening the natural springs so that the lake can once again fill with fresh water is a joyous thing. But on this very windy day, I stood looking at the lake and wondered what must nature think of us.I spied this pottery shard next to a rock. Can man and nature co-exist with both bringing beauty to the landscape?

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We humans are such immediate and loud creatures compared to the essence of the world that surrounds us. This shard (about the size of quarter) drew my attention. When I looked up a man on the other side of beach stepped from the woods and stood staring at me. He neither approached nor retreated. The wind became icy and told me to leave. I had planned to walk the entire trail but instead I felt I must go home. The next day I went back to look for that shard to pick it up and keep it. It was nowhere to be found. I finished the walk, I had abandoned the day before. And toward the end this is what I found…

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I smiled. You may claim that I’ll never know with certainty, and yet I do. If I had not spotted that bit of pottery and stopped to photograph it, I would have passed the man on the trail and thought nothing of our meeting and I would have walked the whole trail and instead of the wind at first whispering and then howling for me to leave — I and the tree would have met under the most uncomfortable of circumstances. At least for me.

cardinal flower Lake Neathawanta

Nature never sets out to harm me. This seeking of balance of its needs and mine, reminds me of my choices to co-exist or to dominate … I can pick this red cardinal flower and enjoy its beauty for the day.

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Or I can choose to share it with the hummingbirds. I hope today you get to listen to the whispers of wisdom that the wind brings and understand the mysterious messages in things such as shards of pottery sprinkled along our path.

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