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The Apple and the Duck

Long ago, when the world was not as big as now, and childhood was mostly spent outside, I wished for something; I wished I could share the sights and sounds of nature with someone, anyone. Nearly each day, in the late afternoon, I walked in a small wood, across a bucolic field, and into a vegetable garden to visit with someone very special, Miss Sue. As I walked there, I saw many gifts from the earth and many times, when I would be somewhat late and closer to sunset, I would catch an explosion of brilliance as the sun was setting and silhouetting all that stood between it and me. I saw the wind rustling the trees in October causing the leaves to slowly drift and fall and I heard the curious skuttle of small creatures in the corn barn as I walked past. The grasses in the field were tall and had turned into seed pods, I carelessly and without effort scattered their seeds when I walked through, assuring new growth in spring. In June, I saw the wild blackberries covering the side of the old cypress barn, intermingled with poison ivy, and topped with random pockets of ‘snake spit’. I heard the lonely sounds coming from the bayou, tree frogs and croaking toads ending their day, preparing for the uncertain night. The natural beauty overtook me; it was there that I fell in love with the fauna and flora, the moon and stars, and that peaceful sensitivity from being in nature. I had found a place of harmony; I had found my joy. I remember, however, feeling a bit of emptiness not being able to share those wonderous ephemeral moments; it was an instinct to share, to express. Usually, I helped myself out with writing in my journal and perhaps doing a tiny sketch in the corner of the page, just something to freeze that memory, some way to express the beauty I had experienced. There was not social media and the ability to capture and share that splendor spontaneously; there was not an ‘Apple’ in my pocket. Today, that faraway fantasy, that inexpressible thought is possible. I can do that; you can do that; we can share the natural beauty in our day. I have no concept or concern as to how many people see my posted pictures, hopefully someone does, but even though, it is the act of sharing, of putting the image and the moment ‘out there’. It is satisfying; it is the ability to express ourselves, either creatively or emotionally. I am sometimes unsure about my feelings concerning technology and social media, as I feel most are, but this ability to circulate the simple, but beautiful, wonders of the world that exist in our ‘backyards’, well, that is the part I love. I wish my photo library was filled with those long-ago days that drift faintly in my memory, those idyllic images would bring much joy. Now, I can snap and post the morning sun as it reflects on the tin roof in the woods and the flight of migrating birds from the North. I can film my honeybees collecting nectar and monarchs on milkweed. I can share the cuteness of my little duck quacking and waddling throughout the small chicken yard, and I can, in turn, see the brilliant sunset from your back patio. I can also see the horror of the world in my hand-held device. I can see obscenities and violence and lies and filters and hurtful half-truths and propaganda; those things are there also. I suppose we all have the choice to use this platform for good or for malice. Anyway, that is the liability of this place we have found ourselves in, that is a decision we all must make regarding the ‘influence’ we release into the airwaves and into the consciousness of others. I hope we all choose well. Pam Shensky Berry Tales October 15, 2023

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