Recently, I heard some negative comments that visitors had made after going to state and national parks:
"Carlsbad Caverns was a real disappointment. It was very dark in places. They need to add alot of lighting".
"We were on a visit to the Big Bend of Texas, all the way from England. We were very disappointed that the park did not show us the cougars, deer, and bear that alledgedly live in the area. You would think that a good wildlife park would have the wildlife readily available for viewing. Very upsetting."
"The parking lots and camping areas in at Ft. Davis were too dark. They should add more lighting, as we had trouble setting up our tent in the darkness."
"We encountered a trail that was much too steep for us to easily climb. They should level the trails out so that they are easier to climb."
"Being from New York, we were use to clear lakes. When we arrived at Lake Amistad, we were shocked that they had let the lake get so murky. You could not even see the bottom.
And my personal favorite......"We found Texas to be much too hot to enjoy. The animals in the parks came out only in the very early morning and late evening hours, when we were either still sleeping or eating dinner. You would think they could arrange to have the deer near the roadsides up during the afternoon, when we could more coveniently see them."
Fortunately, these individuals were not addressing me and there was no way that I could respond to them. I may have simply told them that from now on they needed to stay indoors with the lights on and worry about their manicures, comb-overs, and shopping malls. But it got me to thinking...how many of us encounter nature and simply don't understand or appreciate what we are looking at? Great adventures can be found in vacant lots in the middle of town...if you take the time to look and enjoy.
Our lives are like that. We are so worried about getting to the destination and what it may provide, that we completely miss the journey. Let's all step back from our busy daily lives and accept that we are not the sole masters of our environment. The land around us was here long before man ever set foot on the soil, and I expect that it will be here long after man has gone. Look at it and enjoy it for what it is. Take some time to enjoy the dark places, the wild things, the steep trails, and the muddy water. Realize that the world around you does not operate on the same 8-5 schedule that you do. Let's put our arrogance and self-imposed importance aside for just a little while and sit back and enjoy our journey. Each of us is a part of the natural world around us. Do your best to protect it.