The NJSEA would like to give a huge thank you to the Bergen County Audubon Society for its donation yesterday of three bird feeders for use at DeKorte Park. The beautiful structures, made of recycled plastic, are badly needed for birds such as Cardinals, Blue Jays and Red-winged Blackbirds to find food this winter and could not have come at a better time given the current freezing temperatures. Many, many thanks to BCAS! (Pictured are a freezing BCAS President Don Torino and the NJSEA’s Gaby Bennett-Meany, who oversees DeKorte Park).
The great conservationist John Muir once wrote, “Going to the woods is going home.” No one that has ever found solace and comfort in any wild place would ever question the sense of that simple, beautiful sentence.
For me, since childhood, my strength and the understanding of who I am has always come from the times I have spent going home to the fields and woods of our Meadowlands.
I have always felt more comfortable with a cold Meadowlands wind in my face than at any awkward social event. Whether it is a meeting or any indoor gathering my eyes always drift to the windows and my thoughts to the fields of sun and grass that I know that are waiting for me to come home to.
The sounds of the Red-wings and the screech of the Red-tail welcome me and bring me comfort as much as any homecoming ever could. No need to wipe my feet at the front door and there is always a family reunion conducted by the natural wonders of the meadows ready whenever I need remind myself of who I am and what’s important.
I have always shied away from “get-togethers” and never done too well at formal dinners. There is no need for jackets and ties and formal attire while I watch an Osprey or Harrier overhead. Home is where we feel we can be ourselves, no need to ever put on an act. It never matters what we do for a living or what our social status is or is not.
When you are home it matters not what car you drive, how many Facebook friends you have, or what letters you put after your name. Our home in nature accepts us for what we are, not what we pretend to be. Home is where we feel most comfortable, where we feel love and peace, a place that renews our souls and rekindles our spirit. There is no place that can do that more than going home to the natural world.
Now I probably spend more time than I should away from my actual home . When surrounded by four walls I get restless for the winds and waters of the meadows. Nature becomes part of us, engrained in our DNA as much as any bird or butterfly. We are family members of the ecosystem, as all living things are.
My time spent outdoors keeps me going and saves me, giving me the strength to get through the day and through life. It is my hope that everyone finds themselves in nature. In doing so we will all find our way home.
See you in the Meadowlands