As an end-of-year lunch with some colleagues was winding down earlier this month, a question was asked that took me by surprise, but later struck me as inevitable: “So, what are your nature connection goals for the new year?”
In the past, I’ve skipped making resolutions more often than not. I hadn’t given that dreaded December R-word a single thought, let alone come up with a resolution about nature connection. There are always nature topics I hope to learn more about, but it may never have occurred to me to set concrete goals for them before that moment.
I pondered for a minute, then said, “Improving my sea shell identification.”
I had discovered a few days prior that my friend’s husband is a serious shell hunter (and my friend is a casual one). My friend and I got really excited about trying to ID a small box of shells that she was gifting to a coworker. It became clear that her husband knew wayyy more about shell identification than me, which was inspiring and exciting. Now I have people to geek out with and keep my motivation up–and the challenge of an example to live up to!
On a recent trip to Florida, I collected a sizeable bag of sea shells. My biggest specific goal is to identify the species and family of every single shell in that bag. I also want to put together a personal display of the best ones, labeled and organized. Figuring out some of the more technical lingo to describe shells and molluscs is on the list, too.
Most of the other nature connection goals that were announced at the lunch were on the technical side, too; learning about mushrooms and telling apart different oaks were on the list. Not all of them went that way, though. One coworker said his goal was to spend more time doing sit spots–finding a great spot outside and spending some time in silent meditation or observation. Being closer to and appreciating our incredible world is as simple as getting out in it.
Are you making any nature resolutions for 2017? Another one of mine is to post here on Sea Writes more often, because it makes me reflect and learn more, myself!
If figuring out the basics of the tree of life or identifying the plants and animals around you sounds like a good personal nature goal, be sure to follow or check back often, because those are both topics I plan to cover in the near future.
What else do you hope to explore in 2017? Here’s hoping the new year is full of great nature moments and environmental lessons for us all!