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.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A to Z Blogging Challenge: F is for Florida

Cirsium horridulum, "Horrible thistle," commonly found in Florida's disturbed areas

F is for Florida

Florida in all of its many flavors takes the cake for occupying my thoughts most of the time now. Don't worry, Southern Illinois, I'm not abandoning you when it comes to this blog or any other writing. It's only natural for a writer to focus and feed on what's front and center.

When we were just tourists here in years past, I never gave much thought to how much the landscape was being changed to accommodate our family and others like us who would visit the state or decided to stay. Swamps were drained. Native plants were supplanted by more appealing but often aggressively spreading ones. As new houses, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses were built, freshwater usage increased. More wells were drilled into aquifers that supply that fresh water. Hard surfaces like parking lots and driveways increased polluting runoff like lawn and agricultural chemicals into streams and other surficial water sources that feed those aquifers. More and more sinkholes appeared as fragile limestone support underground collapsed under the weight of all that consumption.

I've always admired writing that allows landscape to be uninhibited. From Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, to Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, and then on to Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer, landscape becomes a prominent voice telling its own story. Imagine, if you will, characters who are not carrying the tale but are vehicles being driven by what surrounds them. Interestingly, that driving force moves not only the characters. It also approaches and attempts to scale manmade boundaries. Societal structures such as familial stability and moral values crumble.

Cactus found along a St. George Island trail
Remember the dinosaurs brought to life in the cinema version of Michael Crichton's Jurassic Park? Dr. Ian Malcolm, a scientist invited to visit the park and give it his stamp of approval concludes that "life will not be contained. Life breaks free, expands to new territory, and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously." Dr. Malcolm is someone quite familiar with unpredictability in nature as well as humans. He describes himself as ever ready to meet the next ex-Mrs. Malcolm. Stability be damned.

Things go awry when wilderness is hemmed in or otherwise "tampered" with. Nature takes over and tells the story. It's a powerful voice. Is it allowed to speak in any of your stories?

St. George Island Lighthouse

Please see A to Z Blogging Challenge for links to more "F's" from Challenge sponsors and other writers.


  1. What I remember most about living in Florida was the fresh oranges and the humidity. Lived in Clearwater for a couple of years :) Nice post..good memories.

  2. Florida is a Fascinating place. I know you are as Frustrated with development as me. As always, thanks for the Food for thought. ~karen

  3. Hmmm... to an extent I do. It's hard not to let the landscape tell its story when it is steeped in history.

    But I don't think I've let the landscape become a character of its own yet.


  4. I know we people must live, but must we destroy nature’s beauty to live??? I am appalled every time I go to a tourist beach to see high rises towering the sky. Some day Mother Earth will reclaim her territory.

  5. Horrible?
    To me it looks pretty :-)

  6. Florida is such a nice place to live, if you don't think about hurricanes. Who wouldn't want to move there? My principal retired and bought a home there. She loves it, especially in the winter. Illinois is no fun then.

    You asked on my blog for the link to the interview of me. That link is

    Is g going to be Georgia?

    MM the Queen of English

  7. Wonderful post. I like the Jurassic Park tie in to Florida.

    I've only been to Florida once, when I was in jr high. I went to Disney and spent most of the time in lines. While the rides were fun it would have been nice to see the natural parts of the state.

  8. I came close to Florida when I lived in Alabama in the year 2000. Who knows where life will take me? I might get to see Florida at some point in my life.

  9. Hey there! Love your A-Z's you are doing! I am doing a month long meme. My new job is taking a toll on me and I am exhausted every evening. I'm so glad tomorrow is Friday!!!

  10. Came back to have a re-look at your post! I love that pink thistle! I found a white ball-like tat was similar (I posted it a ways back)...and I am enamored with these shapes of things. Hmmm...I like to eat round things too (bite sized tomatoes, grapes, beets, peas. I wonder what this says about me??? Oh lord...
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. I am from Florida originally. I miss it often.:)

  12. I see this post is attracting the former Floridians like flies. (OMG, it's a bunch of F-words! :)

    I'm originally from Daytona Beach. It's a pretty incredible state.

    Holly Jahangiri

    It's All a Matter of Perspective

  13. The good news is, that a lot of people are interested in native plants and restoring what we've lost. I try to keep that in mind because it's overwhelmingly sad otherwise.

  14. A very witty and beautiful post. I often think of Florida as a replica of Cuba, purely because of the amount of Cuban ex-pats who live there. But then people bring me down to earth telling me that Miami is not Florida. Your post went some way towards helping me understand that.

    Many thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  15. I love Florida and it's not very far from us. Greetings from S.C.

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life