Pine Nuts: Enchantment in a contrail |

Pine Nuts: Enchantment in a contrail

Since I started walking instead of running I’m enchanted by the simplest things. I guess I traded in “runner’s high” for “walker’s enchantment,” not a bad trade.

Just yesterday I saw a pageant played out in the sky I had never seen before, and never would have seen had I been running. A bright north to south contrail lit up the heavens while a westerly wind wafted its ice crystals across the firmament, creating a slow-motion tapestry never seen by these eyes, and I took it as a sign of impending good luck for Mother Earth and her inhabitants.

As I become accustomed to my new role as an enchanted walker, I’m coming to appreciate the fact that Earthly Nature, in her daily appearances, can arrest the mind’s eye and energize the body’s soul.

Once fully engaged, which took six months of walking for this lucky boy, I started to see beauty in formerly commonplace things, and those commonplace things, like rocks, now exhibit a temporal aspect. I suppose when I start to see time in rocks I might be coming to the end of my visit on this lovely planet.

Oh, did I mention stuffing your pockets with dog bones will create opportunities to make friends with the likes of Blaze, Cooper and Zippy. After a while, they will spot you at a hundred yards, drop their Frisbees and come running. Petting somebody else’s dog is pure profit.

Yet another advantage walking has over running is the ability to articulate material you are preparing for an impending public talk. I can recite an hour long program in a walk to the Wreck Center and back, where I could never do that while running. Of course neighbors who see me walking alone while talking to myself whisper to their neighbors, “I believe Mr. Layne has gone around the bend.”

I’m convinced now that Earthly Nature is the best medicine on the shelf. Protecting our mother, that is to say, “Mother Nature,” has to become our number one priority.

As 2019 rolls in, the economy continues to dominate our attention as our most immediate concern. Twenty years from now my grandchildren will be asking, “What were you thinking?! Implications of the Earth’s future should have been your number one priority, but you had blinders on, Papa, you had blinders on. Your fossil fuel economy bequeathed us acid oceans, but you couldn’t make money averting acid oceans. Mother Nature had a script, a script that was working well until you tore it up. We hold you in contempt for corrupting our environment, Papa, but we still love you.”

I fully expect to receive that letter in 2039, and though I will be pushing up turnips as my sole occupation, I shall shed a tear and turn onto my stomach in my grave.

It takes our grandchildren to remind us in 2019 that our motto, our slogan, our watchword should be, “Love Thy Mother.”

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

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