By: Lizz Muller
Every week at Arcadia, something big happens that seems to consume all of our attention. A birthday, a hike, a guest entertainer – all are exciting and fun. But what about those little moments that make each day special, and that surprise you with joy when you least expect it?
To quote a reading from our Knowing Nature class, “if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is planted in pennies, you will have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days.” This week, we all tried to focus a little bit more of our attention on these “pennies,” the free gifts that the world is constantly presenting to us. Naturally, everyone had their own, and they were all different. That’s what makes them so special.
The greatest gift Mother Nature provided us with this week was five days of bright sunshine, warm weather, and the occasional cool breeze. Most of the time, Mama Massawepie was so calm that she perfectly reflected the sky. Though beautiful, one feels like they are continuously falling through the clouds when paddling. With the warm weather also came an invasion of wooly aphids. These little baby blue insects hover in the sky in numbers too numerous to count. Their tufts of “wool” gives them the appearance of fairies. The wooly aphids, or wooly mammoths as Lizz calls them, were really cute at first, but soon became a nuisance when they started to hide in people’s beards and fly up noses.
There were also pennies found within pennies. When someone discovered a yellow spotted salamander in the path – a gift in itself – it warmed everyone’s heart to see the look of pure joy on Will’s face as he recognized its spirit. When we visited Sevey’s Bog in our ecology class, watching everyone jump up and down on the squishy moss and pushing people in was just as enjoyable as seeing the bog itself. Maybe even more so. And when Caitlin told the story of seeing an owl on her run, the whole community shared in her wonder and excitement.
At the bog, to the dismay of our professor, Sue, we were all distracted by the fluttering of a single Monarch butterfly. Monarchs seem to have some significance to nearly every one of us, so the migrating butterfly was a good omen and welcomed presence. Just as we were turning our attention back to bog ecology, another Monarch appeared. We watched as it crossed the blue sky, ignoring the pleas of Sue to pay attention. Two butterflies are an even better sign.
We realized this week what a rich community Arcadia is. Keeping our eyes peeled for pennies made us all feel like millionaires. The world has so much to offer, yet so much goes unnoticed. Try it out for yourself. Just look around, and maybe you’ll feel like a millionaire too; The best things in life are free.