An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of October 16, 2016
Issued from Rancho Regenesis near Ek Balam ruins 20kms north of Valladolid, Yucat√°n, Mexico

SUNLIGHT ENCHANTMENT

Nowadays as a premature dry season cools and dries out the Yucatan, each morning in the garden I experience sunlight enchantment. It's so cool that I almost need a shirt, shadows are black and dew glistens like shattered glass on leaves. The air is redolent with pungent odors of freshly turned soil, cow manure, crushed bushmint too rank-smelling to be sweet, and the oily, fleshy odor of my own skin as sunlight warms my chest and legs. It feels good, this incoming flood of brightness and glare, and I like to stand leaning on my hoe, looking around.

As my skin warms I visualize as best I can photons, ultraviolet waves and other forms of energy ejecting from the Sun 93,000,000 miles away, with a laughably small part of that blindly bumping into the Earth. But here on little Earth this energy amounts to an inconceivably vast, sky-filling deluge that keeps life going.

At my feet, seeds of lettuce, chard, radish and cilantro have germinated and now each little plant elegantly deploys its dicotyledonous solar panels. The panels are empowered with green chlorophyll that captures sunlight energy to store in bonds between atoms that then perfectly align themselves into molecules of carbohydrate. The carbohydrate along with water makes up practically all the plant's body. When later the plants need energy to conjure flowers and fruits into being they'll break apart some atomic bonds in the carbohydrate, and the energy will be made available.

Or maybe an animal, like me, will eat the plant before it flowers. In that case the Sun's energy stored within the bonds will enter the animal's body and through more magical chemistry enable the animal to move, think and feel.

In the garden, all living things and the things they do, including bird and insect calling, and us animals thinking and feeling, are Sun-powered. The morning's first breeze on my Sun-warmed chest and legs is Sun-powered. And, just think: Untold eons of Sun-powered biological evolution right here and now in this garden are crystallizing into these words coming from me leaning on a hoe handle.

Here are the words I feel like saying right now, and they make me laugh just thinking about sharing them with you: "Bon voyage," I say into the garden's scintillating morning air, "bon voyage to every erg of sunlight energy right now setting sail into this mind-bending mingling of ecology, sharp bushmint odor and fragrance of my thinking, feeling self!"

The Sun rises higher, the warmth on my chest and legs becomes a tingle and finally a kind of a burning. Brightness compounds itself, colors shout, the odor of bushmint disperses on the breeze, grasshoppers pop into the air and black ants crawl up my legs and bite. The ants make me abandon my sunlight enchantment, and remind me that in this world we living things sometimes have to get to work.

Taking a firm grip on the hoe, here's one final thought: All this perfection and magnanimity of spirit blossoms here and everywhere automatically and inevitably. It's just how things are put together. And all we humans have to do to assure its continuance and to participate in the majesty and the bounty, is to not destroy it.

And that's the way it is no matter who the President might be.