1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

CO2 Exchange--Nature's Solution to Ennui

When anniversaries must be celebrated in economic downturns, the celebrants should perish the thought of considering pricey options like staying in Seaside. From slumping oil prices and home values to disappearing paychecks and savings accounts--these signs of the times all require scaling back of personal economies. Seaside, you may recall, is the idyllic town where parts of the movie The Truman Show were filmed. Lunch at Bud and Alley's in Seaside and a long walk sufficed to help two celebrants this past week put a few things in perspective.

First of all, celebrants of twenty-nine years of marriage find it satisfying enough to watch someone else put his or her life/limbs at risk, catching the wind to ride the waves. We can be there, up in the air, in our minds, fighting ennui right along with whoever that is, taking chances. And our wings of wax will remain intact.

Secondly, fruitless job searches do not steal joy from celebrants in search of secret passages through dunes.

And, finally, signs in secret passages remind celebrants that nature has a way of breathing new life into old problems. If "time keeps on slipping into the future," then life should get better and better, or so we have been told, as long as we watch our steps and keep our noses to the grindstone.

Watching your step requires lowering your gaze.

Lowered eyes usually find treasures abounding in the woods and on nature trails. Cladina evansii may be one of the few secrets Florida has left, so this celebrant will keep a valuable CO2 exchanger's specific whereabouts a mystery. It's a delicate lichen which is easy to pick up and tempting to take home. There are no roots keeping it earthbound, and it is light and small enough to put several specimens in a pocket. Conscience and respect for nature/others keep this visitor (celebrant) from cramming her pockets full of these goodies. If you Google "CO2 exchange," you may find that other kinds of minds are hard at work trading futures for dreams of substantial wealth. And those dreams could leave the rest of us life-celebrants with nothing more substantial than the air that we breathe.

"Tea leaves thwart those who court catastrophe,
Designing futures where nothing will occur...."

--from Sylvia Plath's poem "Ennui"--


  1. Happy Anniversary! Nothing better than in nature to feel alive and well at this very special time in life...and it is not dependant on any personal income! Just wonderful earth...and so much beauty! Congratulations!!!

  2. I love the third photo of the twisted trees and white sand.

    Happy anniversary. Joy and beauty are all in our minds, right. I would be perfectly happy to wonder your beaches and a picnic lunch would make me as happy as a fancy restaurant. I guess both of you feel the same way.

  3. Happy Anniversary! What a lovely view of the ocean. I miss the ocean so much. Enjoy sunny Florida.

  4. Hi W2W, happy anniversary and it sounds like you spent yours in a most satisfying way. We hope the economic direction for you and yours goes the right way. The sea of lichens was a treasure beyond measure!

  5. Happy Anniversary! I love the way you blend the pictures with the words, or is it the other way round? A great way to spend time together...the beach, all the details!

  6. Thanks, Julie. Wealth and happiness are certainly not synonymous. I've never considered us to be wealthy, but I guess wealth, health, and even happiness are relative things. I do know it's not what you take with you that's important (which is nothing) but what you leave behind. I'm hoping my legacy will at least be a breath of fresh air.

    Marnie, thanks! I did suggest a picnic, but The Man insisted on somewhat of a special meal. Really, the restaurant itself is nothing fancy, but the food is lip-smackin' good.

    Hi, Tina, and thank you. It is sunny today but COLD! The ocean water is definitely warmer than the air today. I was getting ready to plant a few more veggies, but I think I'll wait until mid-week when the temps warm up.

    Frances, thanks for the good wishes all around. I've been remembering what my dad used to say his mom said about the wind in spring. It wakes up the plants, knocks off the dead wood, and makes the sap run with more vigor than ever. Maybe the tough economy will shake this country out of ennui, lethargy, complacency, whatever you want to call it.

    Kanak, I haven't seen any butterflies yet, still too cold here, but the plants and other scenery I find sure have their charms. Thank you, and I'm so glad you enjoyed everything.

  7. W2W,

    Happy Anniversary!

    BTW can you pass on a message to "hubby" that I replied to his message? I sent an email from my gmail account so if he doesn't see it tell him to check his spam folder.

  8. I love that twisted branch photo too! Nice shot. Happy anniversary! How great it is to live so near the ocean!

  9. MBT, thank you, and your message has been delivered.

    Chandramouli, it was your post about the happy couple that inspired me to share my celebration with everyone. Thank you!

  10. W2W,

    Thanks. If the second email doesn't work out he can send me me through my Blogger profile it should list my email below my profile pic.

  11. I've always thought Steve Miller was one of the premier guitarists. He was on CBS Sunday Morning not too long ago, seemed like a very nice and humble man.

    Congratulations on 29 years of togetherness (or some such other appropriate descriptive adjective). We celebrate 18 years next month.

    I would have been tempted to saw off that twisted part of the tree at the entrance to the "secret passage," what a lovely piece of driftwood it'd make. I love its basilisk appearance. I actually saw a piece of driftwood at a nursery with a $200 price tag.

    Nice prayer for wood, but unfortunately we're still "harming" and doing all those things listed. I don't think we use wood for coffins anymore, do we? Morbid thought.

    And, If you were subscribed to receive updates from my blog,
    or if you were following, please check to see that you still are. I switched templates and I'm afraid followers and subscribers might have lost their connection. Thanks.

  12. MBT, we really appreciate your advice and encouragement. Thanks for your help.

    TC, I added you again as a follower. What a pain and hassle trying to make things better can be. Good thing this kind of "gardening" isn't literally a pain. Speaking of literally, you wouldn't seriously saw off that limb, would you? Do you know how many years of adversity (salt air/wind/drought/contact with humans) it took to create that twisted masterpiece of nature? Actually, I think the sign with the prayer should be installed outside of the secret passage so as to dissuade any tempted gardeners like you (and me). Nip that thought in the bud, so to speak, before it takes root.

  13. A gorgeous post, W2W--and happy anniversary! Salix and I find the beach restores us--and the great thing is, the beach is FREE. Happy years to you and your husband.

  14. Thanks W2W. I think I've notified most of the other followers. And yes, changing the landscape has been a pain, but I've had some great help from Dave. Even gave him my password so he could go in and do some pruning for me. No, you'd not have to worry about me damaging that beautiful "twisted masterpiece." But if I saw it detached from its roots, I'd probably snatch it right up.

  15. Happy Anniversary! I think many of us are discovering the joy of the simple things in life right now--even if it's by necessity rather than choice, that's not a bad thing. Spending time with someone you love and experiencing the beauty of nature (and the WARM sand of a beach!) is priceless.
    Like you, I will gladly let someone else pretend to be Icarus:)

    I do hope job prospects will be looking up very soon, and I wish you and your husband many more years of happiness.

  16. Hi, Cosmo, and thanks! I enjoyed learning more about the hellebore from you. It looks like a great plant choice but probably better suited for more temperate zones. I do have good luck with hostas here, though, on the north side of the house, so I won't rule out the hellebore entirely.

    TC, garden-bloggers are the best for helping and encouraging each other. The cooperative spirit is still alive and well in the garden, at least. Congrats early on your 18 years together with your special lady, by the way. You know, I hope that knotty tree/twisted masterpiece never gets upended. It's the entrance to a perfect, labyrinthine retreat that even Daedalus could be proud of.

    Rose, thank you. I really do prefer the simple life and have never been a city girl. Of course, job opportunities don't grow on trees or hide in dunes, unfortunately, so the city life may yet reel us in.

  17. I've never heard of those, and great post by the way. I've added you to my blog roll. I don't know why I didn't think about it sooner.

  18. Happy Anniversary..I hope things look up for all of us. You have such a unique way of posting...Very creative...I hope I answered your hubby's questions about blogging.. Blogger can be so unreliable...

  19. Happy number 29th for you and the hubby! A great post today! I got to see an almost naked man, hear a great song, read a wonderful prayer (which should be posted in every park) and learn a bit more about lichen! I have a schedule posting on Lichen for this Sunday, I must link this sight you have! May I borrow it? I see lots of my lichens in the link so am excited and thank you for this post (not just for the half naked man) I am not sure but think that yellowish stuff is in my woods. A bit difficult to see in the pic shown but you will see mine and give your opinion…

  20. Thanks, Mr. S. I had never seen anything like that Cladina either. When we encountered it on the trail, I thought someone had dumped a bunch of packing material all over the place until we saw the sign describing what it was. Interpretive trails are quite helpful, and I hope FL doesn't run out of funds to maintain them.

    Michelle, you're so kind, and thank you. I think he has decided which one he will use for now. Like you said, Blogger is easier to use as a beginner, if not entirely reliable. At least I can help him somewhat with the different features. I'm still learning as I go.

    Skeeter, don't you just love the liberties that artists can take? That painting makes it look like Icarus is a work of art himself being unveiled. Not a bad piece of work at all! Of course I don't mind you using the same link. Didn't cost me a thing. My favorite pic on that lichen link is the guy with the green beard. Makes me think of Castro on St. Patrick's Day. You know, I was wondering if you planned on drilling holes in that stovepipe before you use it on the crabapple trunk. It might literally cook the tree if there isn't some circulation available.

  21. W2W, Congratulations on 29 years! The wisdom of your writing always demonstrate your unique way of observing and participating in the world, but this post is particularly lovely.
    I too, can't help thinking that the silver lining in all this woeful economic news may be that we re-learn to notice, appreciate, and value small things, and that instead of "consuming" everything in our path, we each learn a bit about simply enjoying and preserving it for our children's children.

  22. I REITERATE. yOU ARE NOBODY, until you love someone. This twisted logic, is wild, egocentric.

  23. What a beautiful post! Good attitude there.

  24. The Stove Pipe will not be connected to a stove. tee hee. We will keep the top of the pipe open and stick the bottom into the ground a bit so the squirrels cannot go under it and up the tree! The pipe is a large one giving the tree plenty of room to grow and circulate air. The pesky but cute squirrels are so smart that I am guessing they will figure out the puzzle and somehow get to the tree. I will post a pic of the tree once we install the pipe...

  25. WS, thanks. You are another one of those writers whose deep thoughts help me sound out a few of my own. Sometimes I wonder (scary place, my brain) if the clouds we're supposed to find the silver lining in are real or just part of some elaborate set? Maybe I've been watching too many movies and crime shows. Seriously, I should stick to important things like books and blogs and teaching Micah about nature and gardening.

    Thanks for reiterating, A.C. Don't you just dig the wild, egocentric, illogical aspects of love/life? Reiterate as often as you like, friend.

    Troutbirder, thank you! I guess the attitude comes with the territory (FL).

    Skeeter, you know how my mind works, thinking up all kinds of scary outcomes. The reason I brought up the circulation issue is that we just recently planted some fruit trees and needed something to protect the young-uns. I'll probably post about it too. Thanks for responding, by the way.

  26. I enjoyed the Truman show and hearing more about it from you. Thanks for the nature walk. Happy Anniversary!

  27. Thanks, Sarah! For some reason, I missed the movie when it was first released, and a relative from Maine recommended renting the DVD. It's a treasure of a movie for sure.