I happened across this scene the other night while driving south on the Florida turnpike and found it so intriguing that I had to stop. Every time I drive through south Florida I'm blown away by the large scale development that has been achieved in such a relatively short amount of time. As recently as 200 years ago the Everglades was thought to be an insurmountable wilderness, and today we sit atop this ecological treasure as it crumbles beneath our feet. The Everglades faces a myriad of threats: climate change and the associated risks of saltwater intrusion into freshwater habitats; the gradual loss of peat soil - the very anchor for grasses and sedges that comprise so much of this ecosystem; overdevelopment and the ensuing polluted run off from industrial, agricultural and housing developments - the list goes on. But what I found intriguing was the dedication of these men to enjoy the shrinking green space that remains of this wilderness. The soft, pastel, almost ethereal light illuminating the backdrop of houses and movie theaters created such an interesting juxtaposition of two worlds colliding - man versus nature - and I think that's what makes life in south Florida so interesting.
There's a peculiar feeling about autumn by the sea - almost indescribable, imperceptible in nature. A feeling that must be experienced to fully understand. It's the sort of feeling that simultaneously awakens all of your senses without your awareness of it happening.
It's the embrace of the last warm breeze as it's pushed along by winter's chill. It's the glow of an early sunset guarded by a thin veil of wispy clouds melting into a thousand shades of pink, orange, and blue. The crisp, cool air carrying the scent of ashen logs and the familiarity of home. It's the unstoppable march of time: The changing of seasons. It's moving forward into the unknown and the familiar in the same moment.
The feeling is the migration of countless creatures, both marine and terrestrial, inspiring my curiosity to understand their behavior; their need to move innate, much like my own. It is something written into their genetic composition, perfected with the flow of the current and the ebb of the tide. It is a feeling that the whole world is in transition, in preparation for the harsh reality of winter.
In observation, I find myself both a witness and a participant to the vibrancy of this symphony. To sip the chilled breeze as it tangles my hair is but a fleeting moment of bliss - the cold ground underfoot encouraging my return home. Eyes closed, I inhale deeply so as to permanently etch this moment into my awareness. I am awakened to the realization that this moment is all we have - the impermanence of it defining its beauty. Each second is a gift - opening our eyes to it is just a matter of slowing down enough to appreciate it.