December 12, 2011 9:10 am Published by 3 Comments


Mute Swans - - Brain Berchtold

     Earlier this summer I became reacquainted with what I have heard referred to as that old codger who walks on the park.  Let’s just call him Ed.  I have known Ed for a number of years, even so, had not seen him for quite a while. Ed walks on Presque Isle with a few of his pals about three days a week.  He loves Presque Isle. 

            He always speaks fondly and authoritatively about the wildlife, birds and plants found on the park.  Now, he does not really know many of the birds and plants actual names, and often sees wildlife that really does not live on the park. However, to his pals, he is THE Presque Isle expert.  Sometimes the “facts” he talks about are a bit out of whack, and I am sure that the experienced bird watcher or naturalist would discount much of his wisdom.    

            I, however, have a simple question that I like to use in situations such as this. “Would you rather be happy or right?”  Ed worships and enjoys birds and everything about Presque Isle.  Can he name the birds?  That answer is a definitive “NO.”    My second question is does it matter?   He and his pals are extremely happy with Ed’s expert status.     

Last Picnic

One morning a few years ago, I remember watching him while his eyes filled with delight as a flock of Canada Geese passed overhead.  He was totally absorbed in the way they shifted within their formation and slowly banked into the area around Leo’s Landing.  It took Ed a full two or three minutes to bring himself back from the experience.  He enjoys his encounters on Presque Isle, and that is all that counts.

I have always appreciated the way he loves and enjoys Presque Isle.  I think he has the right approach to his walks.  Sometimes, a causal approach to living a happy life is much more important than being a purely scientific observer.

Just go for a walk.  Avoid categorizing everything you see; instead, focus on feeling closeness with everything you experience.  If you look at what you see as though you are perceiving it for the first time, but with a child’s eyes, you will get a new awareness of wonder from Presque Isle.

Visit and experience Presque Isle year-round and gain a fresh new perspective.



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