journal . stories . life

24 ~ January 2024

“Water is the driving force of all nature.” — Leonardo da Vinci

“If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.” — Loren Eiseley

The story I am telling in the schools this month is based on Elsie May Has Something To Say, by Nancy Cavanaugh. It is about a 10 year old girl, the youngest of six brothers and sisters, who spends her summers with her grandparents and Uncles on an island in the middle of the Okefenokee swamp of southeast Georgia in the 1930's. The underlying theme of the books is the swamp with all it's mystery and beauty, and Elsie May's connection to her grandparents and uncles and her new dog Hank.

Researching the Okefenokee Swamp and it's vast array of plant and wildlife, all of which are connected to water in the swamp, caused me to pick up Blue Mind by Wallace Nichols again, about how people are happier and healthier when they are close to water.

I realized how much this has been true for me, that my treks with the dogs are always along a watercourse, or end up near water. My annual trips to tropical seas have been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.

I also realized how much pleasure and comfort I take walking along the river path on the Greenbelt with the dogs, which I have been doing for nearly 40 years.

At the end of my half hour presentation I mentioned to the kids and their teacher how important water is in all of our lives, and there would not be life without water. I then showed a collection of my own photos around lakes, streams, the sea, and snow. (wildflowers are included because they would not be there without snowmelt in the high country) I displayed these on my tablet for the classes, which I have connected to the 65 inch monitor they have in each room. The photos I shared are below:

(click on photos below for larger image . . . - Esc or clicking outside of image will close it)

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart"