Season’s Greetings

 There’s still time to make your tax-deductible 2011 contribution to ACT.

Stewart Farm, Sugar Hill & Easton, conserved with ACT.

Solstice and Solitude

We conserve land for many reasons. This fall we completed three projects of particular importance to bats. Bats are an essential part of the natural system that supports human endeavors like farming. And two of our projects this fall are former farms, and the owners hope that these lands with highly productive soils will someday again support livestock or grow food.

The Solstice reminds of us other reasons we conserve land we love.  Though of different origins, solstice and solitude each contains sol. Sol (sun) + stit (stopped) = solstice. Solus (alone) = solitude. We are privileged to live in a place where we’re never far from land that offers the chance to be alone, to enjoy solitude. Places that invite us to open our minds and our hearts, widen our view, feel the enormity of life outside ourselves and scale down our own preoccupations.

Whether it is a mountaintop or a quiet forest or a windblown field, we are offered the invitation to just be, be present with all our senses. To unhook from the electronic din and chatter of our daily routines. There are precious few of these places left, and looking out years and decades from now, one can imagine more and more people seeking and needing these places, the last sane places.

In this season take a moment to look up at the night sky, at the glittering spray of the Milky Way, at dazzling Jupiter, and feel presence of the looming mountains, the sharpness of the air, hear the call of a barred owl or howl of a coyote and perhaps no human sounds at all, just the whispering of the woods, and listen for your heart, feel your own heart beating.

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