Posted by: paulbassler | April 23, 2013

Some Days Are Just Special

I went fishing today, and even though I didn’t get a bite, I had a wonderful day. My brother and I chose to visit our local reservoir, located deep in a pristine mountain environment, surrounded by virgin forest. As I sat on the shoreline, I was amazed, almost hypnotized, by the beauty and majesty of the moment.
Being a weekday, there wasn’t anyone else there. The only sounds were that of nature, as the wind whistled through the trees, the ducks and geese honked at each other for no apparent reason, and the eagles screeched at the earth below as they circled the water looking for their next meal. The emotion of the moment was peaceful, reflecting the kind of serene calmness only nature can provide. It makes you feel like you are a part of something special, something magnificent.
While living on the island of Guam for almost forty years, my wife and I raised tropical birds, just so we could feel the same connection to nature. We used to sit in our aviary, watching our birds intermingle with one another, communicating with one another, staking out their territory, protecting their young, competing for food.
Sitting on that shoreline, it was like having my own aviary, only the birds have a lot more room and are living in their natural environment. Though I didn’t see it today, I have sat on that very shore and watched an eagle dive into the water and surface with a fish in his talon. It’s the kind of natural site you might see on the National Geographic channel. Like most folks, I have seen sites like this on television and I’ve seen amazing photographs of natural scenes not unlike the one I witnessed today. There is a big difference, however, in seeing something on television or in a photograph and experiencing it firsthand. Back in my younger years, when I was traveling around the world, visiting such exotic places like India, Afghanistan, Greece and China, my grandmother once said to me, “I don’t have to visit these places, I can just read about them.” I just laughed, knowing that there is really no comparison. Seeing a two-dimensional photo or video doesn’t come close to the three-dimensional experience of being there. As I sat on that shoreline today, I could feel the experience, feel the magnificence of the moment, and feel my own existence as being a part of the world around me.
The tropics have an abundance of natural beauty as well. From the sparkling turquoise ocean, with underwater visibility of 200 feet and coral so colorful it makes a rainbow look bland, to the gorgeous sunsets and sunrises, the beauty of the tropics is breathtaking. After growing up in Southern California and living my adult life on Guam, I never did experience the full breath of the four seasons, nor have I had the opportunity to share my daily life experience with the kind of wildlife found here in Oregon. Like a child I get excited to see raccoons in our cherry tree, deer roaming fearlessly around our property, hawks and eagles soaring overhead, and herds of elk gathering in an open field. I hope the newness and excitement I am currently enjoying living a country lifestyle never goes away.
I know a lot of city folks travel to the country, or the tropics , or to the mountains in order to experience the kind of nature those environments provide. I believe people go on such vacations because they need to feel their connection to nature. It’s a healing kind of experience. Placing yourself in the heart of a natural environment is like a meditation for your life. It draws you closer to who you really are. With the boost of inner-energy you get from your vacations in nature, you are refreshed, revitalized, and ready to tackle the challenges of the man-made jungles of city life.
I have always chosen to live in natural environments, and visit the city for the kind of fast-pace excitement it has to offer. When I visit the city, it’s like going to an amusement park. Everything is moving fast. Everyone is deep in their worlds, rarely taking the time to look up and say hi. I enjoy the experience, but can’t wait to return home. I love waking up each day and looking out the window of my home and seeing natural beauty all around. Whether it’s a mountain forest or tropical jungle, I feel at home in the bosom of nature.
I grew up in the city, but chose to live an urban lifestyle throughout my adult life. For some, the urban lifestyle is a slow lifestyle, a boring lifestyle. For me, mankind’s true nature is aligned with nature, though we are more than capable of behaving in unnatural ways.
The best part of natural living is our annual garden. For assistance in growing your garden organically this year, please visit my website at


  1. We are part of something special – something magnificent. Thanks for reminding us so beautifully. x

  2. Uncle Paul thanks for that read, beautifully written. A wonderful example of what one must experience regularly as they speed through their busy lives. For me, I try to experience that natural connection here in the Mojave Desert where I work long hours out in the field everyday. The morning starts at 5am by driving 21.2 miles one way on a hilly, rutted, washboard like rocky desert dirt road an hour before the sun rises in the east. The view through my front windshield of my chevy pick-up truck is of complete and utter darkness as far as one could see. You can’t see past 20 feet in either direction. The site of civilization is 50 miles away. As I grip the wheel tightly on my monster V8 truck, I anticipate that flash of extremely bright light which strings along the sky like white chalk on a school chalkboard. Adrenalin runs through my veins because I know that blast of light is coming…. Could also be the Baja 500 style driving I have to do on this desert dirt road! Anyway, and unbelievably, this almost daily occurrence I experience with these shooting stars that burn up before they hit our atmosphere, is intoxicating. I experience a feeling of affinity with my surroundings and I never get tired of it. In fact, every morning when I see it, I know that everything is going to be just fine because its predictable, dependable. I trust it.

    Hope to see you guys this year in Oregon.

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