by Stacey Embry,
Director,
Morgan County Library
I opened Facebook yesterday morning, I only made it through three posts and I closed it. People are so angry and I just cannot be part of that.
Recently, we had our night program, “Under the Stars.” We hung out in the field by the library looking at the sky and it was amazing. The moon was only a sliver, but we could see all its craters and hills. Jupiter and Saturn were awesome, but Saturn wins, the rings are beautiful. The star cluster and the Andromeda Galaxy were my favorite. Both look like blurs of light in the telescope, but both made me realize how vast our universe it and how small we are.
My favorite part of the night was just being outside. I usually notice stars before my morning runs. I go to sleep too early to see them at night, but I have always enjoyed the beauty of a clear, night sky. I hear people talk about the primal call of the ocean, but I feel that the sky also calls to us. Both are soothing to the soul.
I watch “House Hunters International” and “Going RV.” Both shows have people shopping for a new home, or a home on wheels. A common theme is “getting away” or “slowing down.” I feel these people are more in tune to the call of nature. They realize something is missing. Instead of opening Facebook and reading the anger or joining in with their own anger, they chose to remove themselves.
When I was younger, I loved walking in the woods. Often by myself or with my dog, I would just take off and walk. I had no fear, but I also had no responsibilities. Then life took over. I started doing organized sports, school became more demanding, I got a part-time job, and when I did have free time I was cruising town with friends or doing other things we won’t talk about because my parents read this. Then along came college, shortly followed by family and a “real” job. Things changed and although, occasionally, I would walk along a beach or set an alarm to watch a meteor shower (this was half-hearted, because waking up in the middle of the night is not for the weak) and the walks of my youth were gone.
Recently, probably because of an empty nest, my husband and I have been trying to “get away” and “slow down.” We have done the “no interstate-no chain” time away, but we are going to step it up. We are going camping this weekend (no tent, I am too old to sleep on the ground) to visit some state parks and to go hiking. I am really excited about walking in the woods again. I hope I like it as much as I remember liking it.
People are so angry. Nature calls to us for a reason; I think it is because it knows we need help. Nature can sooth an angry soul. So, instead of spending our time looking at a screen, how about we go outside? We have books about hiking and trails in Missouri, but it could just be in your neighborhood. Take a book-got to plug our wares a little bit-or just enjoy being in the moment.
You don’t have to share your nature time on Facebook, although if you did, it might help others. More posts about good moments, less about angry moments, help nature heal the angry people. Let nature heal us all.
For more information, visit the Morgan County Library, 600 N. Hunter, in Versailles; call 573-378-5319; or see the library’s website at morgancountylibrary.org. Library hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.