Publisher’s Corner: Instinct vs Self-Determination?

JB Lester Publisher The Healthy Planet

A goldfinch flittered away from the spent coneflower after enjoying a few dried seeds. The rose bush is still blooming and offering some late season stops to smell. I am still getting a few tomatoes and I managed to harvest a small pumpkin and gourd for my front porch Fall menagerie. I will add a few dried corn stalks from the garden before Halloween arrives. Adolescent praying mantises are still active in the warmer than normal weather. The feral cat living under our front porch gave birth to five kittens, which now reside inside our house. My daughter is keeping two and the others will be given away to good homes. Every night we bring them out of the large crate and let them run and play in the kitchen. All nooks and crannies beneath appliances have been carefully secured with stuffed towels. There is nothing more fun to watch than five 8-week-old kittens running and playing with each other at full speed and reckless abandon. The mother remains wild, with any chance of catching and domesticating her a pipedream. Honeybees scramble to find anything still offering pollen before they go for their seasonal slumber and form a winter cluster in the hive to keep the queen warm during the cold months. I still see a few hummingbirds but imagine they will be moving on soon. For me, Autumn is a solemn time as I, too, prepare for winter emotionally. In my younger years, I experienced the winter blahs, which is now categorized as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” or SAD. I would become a hermit and almost hibernate. I am happy to say that I have outgrown that and even though Winter is not my favorite season, I will try to find ways to sustain my emotional balance during the frigid months. If you suffer from SAD, go online to find many ways to combat this disorder. I find that being creative helps: writing, painting, cooking, music, etc. Even if you don’t think you are creative, I can promise you that everyone is creative in some way. Just find your piano and tickle those keys. Autumn gives us Halloween and Thanksgiving, which our family love. And as our pool of grandchildren grows, our holidays will become even more active and enjoyable. My title as Grampy takes on more glitter with every new offspring and by Christmas I will have four to dote over. My time as publishing mogul is waning as my family obligations grow. Retirement is on the horizon. This is the way of the warrior as his horse becomes tired and his conquests in Spring turn to Winter. We pray that this pandemic will also run its course and the new year will find us a healthier and happier people. This fall and winter will need to see more vaccinations, more masks and more contributions from those who thus far have been unwilling to help themselves and their neighbors. We can only hope that clearer hearts and minds prevail and we join together to put this virus behind us. And in the Spring, a new people could bloom, resilient, healthy and happy. Even the Monarchs butterflies know to fly south for the winter for survival. Call it instinct or self-preservation. Why don’t all humans have that capability, too? Maybe because we have the intellect of self-determination. Even if that determination could be harmful or even deadly.