Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pining for nature

I have become a creature of air conditioning.

Now, don't get me wrong – it is a wonderful invention that makes half of the planet habitable, and I really hate hearing stories from my assorted ancestors about how they did just fine without climate control, because I know they suffered. They just forget.

But my life has somehow become an indoor existence, and it isn't right. When I was a kid I was always outside. Usually in the backyard or the beach, or a patch of woods near my house that was probably full of molesters and druggies after dark, but which in daylight was a paradise of hawks and snakes and gopher tortoises.

Now I spend most of my time sitting in my air conditioned room, writing. On the plus side, I'm doing what I love and get to wear pajamas all day. On the down side, particularly in the last half-year when I was on a tight deadline, I spend so much time creating worlds that I don't have much time left to experience the real one. That's bad for me as a writer, and as a person.

I used to have time just to lie on my belly and stare at a patch of grass, at the myriad bits of life in a few square inches. I used to sit and marvel at fungi, for goodness sake. I used to be able to tell a cormorant from an anhinga on sight. What happened? I've become an indoor person, and I'm starting to find these four walls hampering. I have to make time for nature.

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