We are not lords of the universe but components of it.

August 4th, 2014, 10pm

It was 17°C. The breeze was gentle.

Today I went blueberry picking (a summer passion of mine) just a few minutes from home. Close to the Lake, Lake Superior!

Today I could hear the rollers crashing into the shore as I picked. A cool, gentle breeze refreshed me as I labored in the warm sun. Just a few warm weeks has shorn the nor’easter of her bitter, winter cold and made her a delight.

Nearby, I could hear the voices of those walking the path just out of sight. I wondered if they knew of this bounty so near. If they did, would they kneel to join me?

One stranger who walked by just as I finally filled my picking bucket greeted me with “I’ll be over for blueberry pancakes in the morning.” Of course, I did not know him and he did not know me. I smiled. What else to say to a happy old man picking berries in the brush who might more easily have gone to a grocery store and bought a pint for a few dollars?

But, of course, this requires work. One must endure aching muscles as one stoops to the earth again and again or kneels as a hunched supplicant. I relearn that I am part of nature. A few days ago Nicholas Kristoff wrote a line in the New York Times which described why, in part, I pick. “We come and go, but nature is forever. It puts us in our place, underscoring that we are not lords of the universe but components of it.”

Chris, David Wade and Shu said thanks.

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Ken Jackson

An avid outdoors man. Retired and retiring, living on the shore of Lake Superior

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