When I didn't have a dog, I dreamed about the days when I finally would. I pictured long walks to far flung parks where I would spend an afternoon reading and dozing in the sun with my beloved pal resting against my legs. Or maybe a chilly fall evening, fully content with a steaming mug of tea in one hand, a book in the other, and my dog curled up on the rug at my feet. Hours of bliss while chipping away at my TBR pile with my loyal companion by my side. So cozy, so peaceful, so naive.
I think that's what many of us book folk imagine when we think about inviting a pet into our lives. The coziness, the peace. What we don't imagine is pushing the cat off our open book for the 23rd time, or removing books from the bottom shelves of the bookcase to save them from sharp and unforgiving puppy teeth. And we definitely don't imagine a hungry cat pulling books off a shelf at 5 AM trying to wake us up, or having to trudge out into a cold, rainy December night to walk the dog. Decidedly not cozy on the couch, decidedly not reading a book, and don't even ask about what dog vomit does to the pages of the brand new hardcover you just splurged on.
*** On this particular patch of Earth, I'm in the traditional territory of the Duwamish people. This month especially, I want to express immense gratitude for the Tribe's stewardship of and respect for the land.***
I won't take up too much of your time (because hopefully you're outside or headed in that direction), but I'm just here to say...Happy Earth Day 2021!!!!!!! If that statement brings you joy, then YAY! I hope you find interesting and informative suggestions below to keep you engaged with nature all year long. If it fills you with trepidation or only reminds you of those photocopy coloring pages of recycling bins, that's understandable too. Natural landscapes and environmental education can be ridiculously unaccessible, but hopefully you'll find something in this post (there's books, podcasts, Instagram accounts, local organizations, and places to visit) that helps to (re)ignite your connection with this beautifully wild world.