When I was a child, I spent my summers in the hills of Brentwood, Tennessee on my grandmother's large farm name Liberty Lodge. It was well named because of the extreme liberty I felt to be my nature loving self in so many different ways. My days consisted of riding horses bareback with my cousins throughout the ranging hills (not a development in sight), swimming in natural rock formation ponds (with polywogs sometimes getting in my bathing suit), eating homemade applesauce from the orchard that to this day has to be one of the most ambrosiac of all foods that have touched my palate. The smells of the new mown hay and of horses, the sounds of the crows and crickets, the feeling of being both welcomed and overwatched by the huge very old oak trees, the color of the sky at dusk as we would bring the horses back after a day of exploring . . . my cup ranneth over.
Liberty Lodge is no more. My grandmother has long since left this world. That beautiful land and countryside is now covered up entirely by the sprawl of development. I count myself very very fortunate that I got to have that time of being so nourished by the natural world, not to mention my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins who meant the world to me.
There are still places where there are peaceful ponds, rolling land and stands of trees in which you can spread out a quilt, pop open some bubbly, bite into an apple straight off the tree, lay back, watch clouds go by and notice an ant crawling on a blade of grass, but you may have to go looking for it. When you find the spot that is just right, wrap your heart all around this fortuitous find and the preciousness of this simple act of picnicing. It need not as an activity dissolve into the ranks of a bygone era, but it may be up to you to keep that from happening. I for one will do my part. Maybe we can save the world, one picnic at a time. What is loved tends to promulgate.