by Kay Mitchell, President


President Kay Mitchell at 2016 Potluck – Photo Credit: Linda Winnie

Nature is messy. It thrives on principles, not order. Sometimes we try to impose order, by lists, field guides, and occasionally cages. That doesn’t make anything more orderly except us. You have to agree that humans are pretty ridiculous in trying to control something that has been working just fine, thank you, for longer than we have existed on this planet.

We do better when we learn about nature’s principles – biodiversity, interdependence, climate science, diurnal and circadian rhythms, adaptation and others – and give up our obsession with control. When we finally understand the principles, the natural world makes more sense (more sense, not more order). And being outdoors starts to feel more comfortable and interesting.

Not everybody has the opportunity to learn about the principles that guide nature. Lots of people go through life without ever understanding what’s going on outside their window. That’s the reason we have a lively, interactive Conservation Education Program. We expose, explain and challenge people of all ages to “get it” and to start feeling good about being on the other side of the window.

It’s kind of like that with our Flathead Audubon Board. If you look through the window during board meetings, it looks pretty messy. We thrive on principles, not order. New people come onto the board expecting to be “assigned” to projects or committees, to follow the rules, to do as directed. We disappoint them in that, but the good ones figure it out and start learning the principles that guide our Flathead Audubon chapter – conservation, respect, work ethic, educational sharing, acceptance of diversity, interdependence, courage, humor.

Being president of this chapter has stretched me further than I thought I could go. Somewhere in the last 4 years, I gave up being orderly. The principles of this group are much more important than rank or marching in straight lines. I’m pleased to have served you. You have a very strong team coming in to take the lead. I think you will be pleased and I know you will be supportive.

Summer is on our doorstep. I hope you accept the challenge to get on the other side of the window. Nature is there for you!