16 Jul On Being Conscious of my Treasures
“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”
During a hike this week, I paused at the top of a hill, soaking in sweeping views of the foggy coastal prairie ecosystem and the grand Pacific Ocean. I had packed a salad and leftover saffron rice, and ate as I took in the crisp breeze and spirited chirps from a nearby white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys). In this moment, surrounded by the natural treasures of the Marin Headlands, a feeling of extreme gratitude washed over me, and I felt truly alive.
I reflected on the many privileges in my life, including the opportunity to explore the field of science communication in a beautiful and biodiverse environment. Through this internship, I have found the perfect fusion between two of my main interests— ecology and media production. Out in the field, I am able to experience and learn about California ecosystems first-hand, as well as collect media materials about them. In the office, I am able to develop ways to communicate information about these wonders through various media formats, including my main project, an interactive, multimedia ArcGIS StoryMap. I have had the opportunity to meet and learn from many SFAN scientists, peers, and my amazing mentor, Jessica Weinberg McClosky.
From seeing spawning grunions (Leuresthes tenuis) blanketing the beach in the darkness of a new day, to watching orange-pink sunsets color the ocean landscape, to holding a bright yellow Wilson’s warbler (Cardellina pusilla), I’ve been making many deposits into my life-long memory bank. Sometimes, it can be easy to pass through these glorious memories without throwing them the celebration they deserve. I cherish moments like this one atop the foggy hill, when I take time to pause, breathe, and ensure that my heart is conscious of the many treasures in my life.
Sunset in the Marin Headlands (NPS / Environment for the Americas / Avani Fachon).