A Walk With the Naturalist

Every act of spiritual wrestling needs a Naturalist.  Susan Goethel Campbell and I walked down the 8 Mile median. Her in a green jacket and jeans, armed with binoculars, field notes, and an endless, active curiosity; me in my singlet and headgear.

We measured the length of the median in multiple locations, noticed the variety of grasses, trees and soil, investigated the body of a fallen tree, and noted the patterns of wilderness and control on the median between 8 Mile.

Early in our walk, in the middle of our conversation we saw out of the corner of our eye, a police officer pulling up from behind us on our right. He turned in the Michigan left lane, 10 feet in front of us, his left hand holding a phone covering his face. We stopped, unable to move further without hopping in the back seat of his car. But he continued his u-turn with his left hand blocking his vision of us. We crossed the cement and continued on our expedition.

In the wilderness of the median a tree is trimmed, its branch removed by a powered saw. Grass is left to grow in pockets. A tower is implanted into the earth. Trees grow. Trees fall. A shopping cart stands alone without an explanation.

Every force leaves a trace.