Bucky was a professional driver by trade. He has since had to give up his profession due to kidney failure.
Bucky, one of 201 residents of Aurora, West Virginia, has been doing kidney dialysis for 12 years now. His treatments for kidney failure are now daily. I was camping in the forest on assignment to document the beauty of this small slice of a National Forest, managed by the National Forest Service from the Monongahela National Forest office in Elkins, West Virginia. I was gathering visual evidence that this part of the National Forest is utilized and loved for Friends of Blackwater a local conservation organization. Friends of Blackwater was working to rouse people into coming to a public hearing on the issues the forest was facing and to speak up for a place important to them.
I love places; bogs, meadows, river basins, deserts, and mountain tops, they are all part of who I am. I don’t love that humans abuse the Earth through their lack of understanding of our interdependent relationship with the natural world. So, I asked myself “what can I do”; I can write, I have some camera gear, knowledge of ecosystems, and a contagious passion for the natural world. How can I use these tools to inspire in others, an embodied commitment to stewardship?
We all could benefit from a boost now and then, especially with life changing so rapidly for our entire species. In my circle of friends we denote moments that rise above the noise in the head or are out of the norm as a win, we call it #win and we share our wins with each other every Wednesday.
This week, oh baby did I win! My win is about mutual respect and developing an important relationship when we do not speak the same language or second language. Three otters revealed themselves to me in a spot of woods I walk nearly everyday. I had been working on my presence of mind, experiencing my senses, and feeling the ground below my feet. I practiced this for about three days.