Last Breath, First Breath

The most important thing I probably did for the end of the year was to return to Baltimore Woods in Marcellus, NY, for another winter romp through the woods. The snow on the trails wasn’t ample for snowshoeing, so we huffed though the trails and land with boots. It’s impossible to stay on track with the open land and possibilities to create a new adventure.

And this reminds me: One of the difficult tasks of 2016 was staying on track. Where this blog is a blatant example, there are other personal examples I could have been more proactive about. All of us could have probably been more keen about certain aspects.

It was important to have some of my last breaths taken in the past year be deep ones, and it was important for my lungs to enjoy fresh air..


Fresh air is a miraculous thing. Enjoying the invisible life, mental and spirit invigorator does help bring oxygen to the cells. Going for a walk, aside the limitless power of oxygen, helps with exercise and oxygen. The boos of serotonin yields happiness, refreshment and relaxation. A person has the ability to think clearly.

Thinking clearly, of course, is important when trying to revisit and remind yourself of purpose. And it’s a reminder that each of us are one speck in the world’s population and that all of Earth’s natural components could kill us.

Yes, these trees around me are bare. Yes, one of these trees may not take it any more and fall over, and it could fall on top of me. These trees and plants could not exist or eventually cease to exist; no vegetation means no photosynthesis, and no photosynthesis means no oxygen, and no oxygen means suffocation. My footing could slip, and my person could fall down a hill and into a stream, which has rocks I can crack my head upon.


I’m not one for resolutions. I think the only resolution people should be interested in is to be more in tune to themselves and to be the better person they could be. Do what has to be done, but it doesn’t hurt to make mental notes.

In a recent conversation with Josh Shear, the second we’ve had for his blog and podcast, aside talking about writing and enjoying tasty beverages, the topic of resolutions came up in the latter part of conversation. I haven’t known him for very long, but our interaction is anticipated. He’s a good soul, and a great person to banter with. The podcast sessions have proven a great opportunities in to getting to know him.

I really didn’t have much on my mind about wanting to accomplish this-or-that in 2017. My decision — one I have been thinking about — is to pursue smiling and saying hello to more people. It’s fun. It’s a small act of kindness. It’s yields a boost of confidence and breaks down the reluctance of interacting with others. So, it can be a challenge, but it is something any person can do.


I spent a week before the holidays looking for particular gifts for a particular someone. Since we haven’t known each other for very long, I wanted to express my appreciation for her with little somethings, but not too many little somethings to detract from the current momentum of the relationship.

A Witty Wicks soy candle. A mixed CD. A used and yet in-tact book from the 1960s about varieties of mushrooms. A used and very in-tact Peterson’s field guide about eastern forests. The four incorporate her interests as well as mine.

She’s big into identifying mushrooms, mosses and many other ecology-related aspects. These are things I accidentally put to the side after abandoning the secondary education and biology majors at SUNY Oneonta. For years later, I would and still continue to check on my environmental interests as if they were the random granola bars at the bottom of a backpack — the wrapper is wrinkled, the ends of the packaging are a little frayed, the contents are somewhat smashed and the fragments can be heard rolling around. Yet, everything is still there in some form or another.


This will be a good year (how many times that has been said…) to get back into biology and ecology. Aside the winter weather being on the milder side, there was a still slight briskness pinching me in the nose and cheeks before (or while) running away and hiding behind one of the infinite number of trees. Being a part of all of it constantly puts me in the mood. To have a co-explorer just as interested — and, let’s be honest, perhaps a bit more — to coax my interests even more.

As someone who thinks every little aspect of nature is photogenic, the next step would be to dive back into the science and makeup of everything — the roots, literal and microbiologic and so on, that bring forth this life. Plus, it will give a constrictive excuse to ignore politics or any other negative current event people bitch about through social media.

It’s definitely a great new year to revisit old things, because you want to and no one else is telling you to do so.

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