Category Archives: Leadership Development Program

Sounds of Melody & Malady

Jeff LDP Blog pic

Over the few weeks I’ve dedicated to NYC, & under the many conditions that have challenged my metal, I’ve become accustomed to the litany of surprises and the fortitude to face the issues as a team and a decider. I consider myself in the wilds debt: I see the progress and impact this conservation work and I consider myself an ally to the wild. I consider myself lucky to have ambled & ached across another auspicious and arduous assessment. Submitting to the whims and woes of a community like this was indeed daunting. I was reluctant to pledge my time to living in measure that intimidated my routine and network of accommodations. But I am not isolated out here on the trails; I have a circus of chums that I’d never considered as a true benefit to my hard work. I’m discovering muscles and sinus that I’d never asked, and developing what my voice is in a productive community. There are cold nights, no doubt, full of sound and flurries, signifying an icy awakening, but my curiosity and direction are aglow. So consider these subtle and stressed sounds of our shared labor.

Sounds of melody & malady.

Sounds of folly & friends.

Sounds like…

the brutal blurb of a water baby back being shuffled off strained shoulders.

Sounds like…

the stiff necked cartilage crackles of distant felled ponderosas buckling at the knees and topping over with dramatic gusto like a gunned down henchman in a grainy old western film. Or, the viral vexation of an impromptu trail song, bellowing with whole-hearted and heinous off key enthusiasm. Or, the march of slumber-eyed crew members schlepping their still snow soaked rain gear over beautifully exposed turf… The sultry hiss of a morning tin pot of boiling creek water and the enticing, caffeinated promise it brings… the dawning cacophony of crepuscular campsite creatures bustling in stereological anticipation of the nights parade… the alarming scrape of a hazel hoe as it unearths a microwave sized granite rock; newly commenced to the surface elements and sworn now to a mountain side oath for another epoch… the muted mumble of oats and raisins in our collective breakfast jowls, masticating with muscle memory and embolden bellies. I’ll not soon forget these sounds that I’ve earned on this crew. I’ve earned the right to know its worth fighting the good fight; and return home with these relics from a conservation family, safe and sound.

Jeff Payne