One of EJ’s favorite movies is O, Brother, Where Art Thou? It’s about a guy (George Clooney) who escapes from a chain gang when he hears that his ex-wife is planning to get remarried. He finds his children singing at a political fundraiser and they tell him that their Mom’s new suitor is “bona fide,” which means authentic, genuine, real, true, actual. It’s a cute movie with some great singing in it.
Well, I am feeling bona fide today because our property has been certified by the National Wildlife Federation as a wildlife habitat. It’s easy to get certified. You just go to their website, fill out a questionnaire about your property, and pay a small fee. It’s not like they come and do an intense home study or anything. Still, I feel very proud of our certification. I figure we have earned it because EJ and I really do make an effort to provide good habitat for the wildlife on our property. We aren’t extreme like some environmentalists are, but we do believe that God gave us stewardship over the planet and it is our responsibility to care for the earth (Genesis 1:26-28).
I received a certificate a few weeks ago (pictured at the top of this post), and today my sign arrived in the mail. I will put the sign up on our property this weekend as soon as I decide where I want it. It will let visitors know that we make a conscious effort to provide habitat for wildlife.
I think it’s rather funny that when EJ first visited this property with our realtor, the realtor didn’t think it would be suitable because most of it is forested hills and gullies. It isn’t a property that can be easily cultivated. However, our property really is everything we longed for: We have just enough land for a small garden for our needs, it is quiet and peaceful, it is beautiful, and it has wildness that provides good habitat for wildlife–and we work to keep it that way.
Yesterday at Facebook, I came across a meme on my timeline that said that in Japan, doctors would prescribe “Forest therapy” to treat depression and anxiety. The scent of the trees increases activity of the natural killer cells that enhances your immune system which boosts resistance against stress.” We have always consider our beautiful enchanted forest to be “Forest therapy.” As introverts, EJ and I need quiet, nature, and animals to refresh us. Without these things, our spirits wither. The forest is therapeutic for us.
I like this quote by Albert Einstein:
There are two ways to live:
you can live as if nothing is a miracle;
you can live as if everything is a miracle.
EJ and I choose to live as if everything is a miracle. We enjoy the beauty of wildflowers, we appreciate the artistry in a spiderweb (in spite of the fact that I hate spiders), we pause to watch geese fly overhead, and so on. One of my favorite poems is by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. She sums up our view of nature:
We totally love our beautiful Enchanted Forest.
And now we are bona fide.