I stepped from Plank to Plank
A slow and cautious way
The Stars about my Head I felt
About my feet the Sea.

I knew not but the next
Would be my final inch -
This gave me that precarious Gait
Some call Experience.

Emily Dickinson, c. 1864

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Joy to have another fine day

Magnificent tree
Several events this past week have changed the way I look at the world, and at the future. First of all, we were able to return to the High Country for our first trip of the season. This past Thursday, we went all the way up to the meadows of Church Mountain, one of my favorite hikes. It is early, and although at lower elevations all is green, the higher we climbed, the more we saw evidence that the snow has only recently receded. Nevertheless, it is truly a beautiful place. We are so lucky to have the wilderness area accessible within an hour's drive from Bellingham.

This is one of the earliest times we've gone up to the High Country. Usually we are turned back by heavy snowdrifts, but not this time. It was clear all the way to the meadows, and the remaining snow there is melting quickly. In another few weeks, we should be able to visit some other favorite south-facing slopes. I was a little sore from the steep up-and-down hike, but nothing more than sore legs. My knees behaved, thankfully. I always carry a couple of knee braces, just in case.

Yesterday in one of the blogs I follow, Time Goes By, Ronni Bennett lists "Interesting Stuff" on Saturdays, and she posted a story about J. David Bamberger, a very interesting man indeed. He turns 91 on June 11, and everything I've been able to find seems to indicate that he is still alive and flourishing. He is celebrating the fiftieth year of his life's work, Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve. As a young man, David worked as a door-to-door salesman, peddling vacuum cleaners for many years, amassing a small fortune, which he then invested in a series of restaurants with a fellow salesman. They made even more money, and when he sold his share, he ended up with enough money to buy some land.

Well, he didn't buy just any old land. He bought almost 6,000 acres of the most degraded land in Texas, not far from Austin, and over the period of many years, he restored it to its original natural state. I didn't realize how important grasses are to restore water to dry land, but he explains it all in a short video, which I am providing for you here.

I hope you enjoy learning about this as much as I did. Since 2019 is the fiftieth anniversary of when he started this project, the entire year will be devoted to celebrating it through the Bamberger Foundation. I am doing my small part by sharing this gift.

Another sign of hope in my world is that I have so much to be grateful for. I saw my doctor this past week, and she congratulated me on my lab results, suggesting that I pat myself on the back for all the hard work I've done to maintain my health. I had been concerned that my "good" cholesterol was lower than before, but she thought I was being picky and reminded me that I am a year older, and things don't usually continue to improve in one's mid-seventies. Oh, right. I forgot about the inconvenient fact that I am growing older with every passing day.

But after learning about J. David Bamberger, who is vigorous into his nineties, maybe I will continue to hang on to good health for a few more years. Or even decades, but I'm not counting on that. I will enjoy every single day of life that I am favored with, and when the end comes, which it will for each of us, I will have been blessed with far more joy and love than many people ever experience in their lives. So these are all signs of hope, right?

This seems like a good time to give thanks for many of the other things that give me pleasure, such as (1) my partner, (2) my garden, and (3) my many good friends. I count you, my dear reader, as an essential component in my happiness. Life will continue to throw us curve balls and we'll experience tough times, but with the right attitude, it can all be endured and even appreciated. After all, if we didn't have bad times, we'd never realize how good we have it today, right now. It's time to stop and appreciate the moment. I listen to the gentle breathing of my beloved next to me, and I look forward to my morning coffee with my good friends.
At times, our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us. – Albert Schweitzer
And with that, another Sunday post is finished. I truly hope that whatever this day brings you, there will be a moment or two to pause and calmly think about what surrounds you that gives you pleasure. Until we meet again next week, I wish you all good things.


Linda Reeder said...

Interesting video. Who knew? the power of grass!
Tom and I will be visiting another large strolling garden this morning and then we will return home to our own little paradise.

Rian said...

That is a magnificent tree! And I also really enjoyed that video... (watched it twice) and since it was talking about the Hill country of Texas (where our daughter lives) it made it even more interesting. And yes, there are tons of Cedar trees around there (hard on people with allergies). Thanks for the heads up. I will definitely share that video.

gigi-hawaii said...

Yes, it certainly helps to count your blessings, and yours are many.

Marie Smith said...

My MIL is visiting for the next few weeks. She will be 87 in September and isn’t on any medication. She recently saw a doctor for the first time in three years and isn’t on any medication. She made chicken soup for lunch and rhubarb jam. She is a true inspiration.

Hope you have a wonderful week, Jan.

William Kendall said...

The world needs more of Mr. Bamberger.

Elephant's Child said...

Another positive and inspirational post. Huge thanks to you, and to J David Bamberger. We need more people like both of you.

The Furry Gnome said...

"I will enjoy every single day that life favours me with". Such good advice, I think of it every day!

Red said...

Bamberger is an excellent model. Too bad some of our politicians weren't examples of goodness.I like to hear someone say that my life changed for the better today.

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

Yes we have all much to be grateful. I won a speech competition in fifth grade for my admiration of Albert Scheizer. Though I post less often you are a dear blogging friend who I often have in my heart as days slip by so quickly. Bless you for caring

Heidrun Khokhar, KleinsteMotte said...

DJan for some odd glitch my comments are not working on your other post. It will not recognize me. Just has me down as a google identity not Heidrun...
I did love that your Saturday hike went well. And loved the pics too

John's Island said...

Hi DJan, There is a good example of why I enjoy following Eye on the Edge so much in this post. You said, "I will enjoy every single day of life that I am favored with, and when the end comes, which it will for each of us, I will have been blessed with far more joy and love than many people ever experience in their lives." That statement, to me, is pure brilliance. I would say the same for myself but I don't think I've ever expressed it as succinctly as you have. I appreciate your sharing of your Sunday morning meditation. Have a great week ahead. John

Arkansas Patti said...

You do everything right so you had better have good numbers. Way to go girl friend.
I saw that video on Ronnie's blog. Amazing what we can do to change the world if we put forth the effort. What a guy.

Rita said...

That gives so much hope when you see how the land can be transformed! Just has me smiling still. What a legacy he has left. :)

Far Side of Fifty said...

So glad you are just getting older and not having health issues! If the Dr is not concerned you should be okay with that! Thank you always for your friendship...sometimes you are like that spark for me:)