Alternatives --

We Know Our World from the Inside Out
by Juanita Ruth One

Consider two people out for a walk along the shores of the Chesapeake through a light rain on a wintry day.

One person walks briskly, moving comfortably over the soft ground, breathing deeply of the fresh air, listening to the song of the splattering rain, marveling at the beauty of prismatic raindrops on every leaf. This person feels relaxed, present and connected to the environment.

The other person trudges along, trying to avoid the mud. Resenting the rain, this hiker tucks a stiff neck into tense shoulders in an effort to avoid everything about this cold, wet misery. This person feels disconnected and is thinking only of getting through this to some future dry, warm goal in the distance.

What is the reality here? Both people are moving through the same physical space at the same apparent time. Yet their experiences, their individual realities, are quite opposite - each created by their own perceptions. Their perceptions were created by their choice of thought. One chose to be open to and embrace the experience. The other chose to resist it.

Bringing our perceptions into conscious awareness can be very beneficial, for the world we experience is the one we choose to create through our own thoughts.

The Chesapeake Bay community consists of many people, each choosing our own perception. Due to a very human tendency to see things only through our own point of view, we may not appreciate the diversity that creates the fascinating entity we label Chesapeake Bay.

Some of us view the Bay simply as a geographic feature: one of the world's largest estuaries. Others see it as a repository of history where the seeds of our nation were planted and nourished. Yet others recognize it as an area in which a more ancient history was devalued, ignored and abused.

Even those of us who view the Bay primarily through maritime eyes have different points of view. There are commercial mariners, competitive mariners and recreational mariners. Each has its own perception of how to relate to the Bay.

Because people are the lifeblood that flows through the dirt roads or paved arteries of any place, we - who call the shores and waters of the Chesapeake our home - are the energies that nurture or stifle the life of our environment. Our visions, our ideas and ideals, combined with our actions and commitments (or lack thereof) cast us into the role of co-creators of life on and around the Chesapeake. As we begin another year, may we become more conscious of how our individual perceptions - our thoughts and attitudes - contribute to the creative process.


-Juanita Ruth One is both licensed Chesapeake captain and holistic healer.

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Volume VI Number 2
January 15-21, 1998
New Bay Times

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