The world can be relentless.
I was reminded of this the other night as we were listening to an array of bird songs only to have the melody interrupted by a sharp-shinned hawk snatching a dove out of the air in an awesome feat of speed and deft. The drama continued as a bald eagle stole the dove from the hawk. The dove never had a chance in this whole ordeal, but even the hawk fell victim to the ruthless pursuit of survival.
In an odd twist, the scene reminded me of May in Durango. This time last year, a board member informed me that May is really just short for Mayhem. While life in Durango can rarely be considered dull with a never-ending string of activities and events year-round, once the snow melts, the number of events seems to explode as dramatically as this year’s pollen count.
We Durangoans cherish adventure. As a result, there is an abundance of options for entertainment and events. In order to fund those experiences, we also work hard. It’s not long before newcomers to our town realize that the Durango Tango isn’t a dance but rather the route to survival. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of our world. We don’t want to be left out – or worse, left behind. We pride ourselves on our ability to do it all.
This frenetic pace not only wears us out, but it also causes stress and anxiety. In us, and particularly, in our children. It is tough to remember that rest is as necessary to our well-being as good nutrition and regular exercise.
Last Saturday, Durango Nature Studies held its 25th Anniversary Celebration. It was a simple affair – an open house at the Durango Nature Center, with kid-friendly activities and refreshments from local favorites. We were joined by a few businesses and organizations, and Rebecca and Jeffrey Hutchison chose the event to release their beautiful new children’s book, “I Am Mother Earth.”
There were a number of great events happening all around town May 4, so I wasn’t sure how many people would venture to the Nature Center in Bondad. However, I kept reminding myself that the intent was not to have the largest turnout but rather to provide a place where people could relax and celebrate the mission DNS has had for 25 years now – to slow down and connect with the natural world.
It gave me great pleasure to meet people who have had a significant role in DNS’s history over the years. It made me equally happy to watch families visit the Nature Center for the first time and take time to slow down and sit by the pond, celebrating the antics of some aquatic insect or lizard. In the normal course of our days, we would seldom pay attention to such things, but when we choose to slow down and pay attention to the world around us, the normal becomes magical. That has been the role of the Nature Center in the past, and we will work to ensure that remains its role in the future as well.
Stephanie Weber is executive director of Durango Nature Studies. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.