[Tweeters] Full Circle

Jeff Gibson gibsondesign at msn.com
Wed Feb 25 18:02:30 PST 2015

What a long strange trip it's been. I mean my past year, largely unplanned and uncertain, here in Port Townsend, watching over my parents gradual descent into dementia. How much longer I'll be here I don't know.
But now, just over a year into my de facto eldercare job, I'm getting to reap the benefits of spending a whole year in the nature of the place. Because what goes around, comes around.
At turns amused, and disgusted, about the various forms of the "race to space", such as proposed manned missions to Mars, or childish notions of the super-rich to encourage "space tourism" (thinly clad fantasies of trying to get laid in zero gravity probably) at an incredible level of resource waste, I really gotta wonder sometimes about my fellow hominids. What the big deal? We're already in space. Maybe we could just appreciate what we already have.
Even the laziest feeder watching birder has just spent the last year traveling 584 million miles through space. Yup, that's how far the Earth travels each year in it's circle around the Sun. After working in the woods for three months straight, and not moving faster than 30mph on rough mountain roads (in places like Stehekin) and mostly walking, to emerge into "civilization", and getting the car up to 60mph on the highway for the first time was a bit scary. Too fast.
But did you know, that right now, you are traveling at the speed of 67,000 mph through space, circling around the sun. The Earth is a wonderful vehicle. Gets great mileage. Good thing about that gravity.
Moving right along, I like to think of the annual cycle, and the seasons (thanks to Earths tilted axis) as sort of a remedial program for nature buffs. Miss that shorebird migration last year? Well, guess what, if you're still around, it's gonna happen this year too! Miss those masses of summer wildflowers in the mountains - you get another opportunity this time around.Did you miss out on certain natural details last year? Well, keep watching. Plus, what is better than seeing old friends coming around the bend again. Coming full circle.
I just got a little bit of a thrill like that today , when I saw that tiny annual plant Collinsia (aka Blue-eyed Mary) blooming in the ol' sand dunes here at Point Wilson (more than 45 days earlier than last spring). While tiny (the whole vegetable about the size of a half-dollar) it is brilliant. Although small, it looks big next to neighboring Draba's - which although technically a 'weed', isn't too harmful, and I just had to admire it for being such a eentsy blooming plant. Soon the dunes will go through the whole annual cycle of leafing and blooming plants once again, in their various orders.
Soon, I hope, the Rufous Hummers will be back - the current bushes are ready for 'em- and some weeks later on, the Robins will fill the airwaves with wonderful song, like last year, but maybe differently. I hope all these old friend keep coming around. Full circle.
Jeff Gibsonspace cadet

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