Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | December 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: December 2023

Now at year’s end, I tend to reflect more on the passage of time and memories made. With a glance in the rearview mirror, there is an innate proclivity to contemplate the highlights and perhaps lowlights of the previous year, before transitioning to the next. Thank goodness research suggests we remember pleasant memories longer than the unpleasant ones. As I look back on 2023, highlights include time with MDC team members doing incredible work to carry out our mission — from management efforts on grasslands and wetlands to our rivers and lakes to our myriad efforts with partners across the state.

These moments of time afield are treasured memories. And as I age, I also recommit efforts to live more intentionally in the present moment and to “encounter all the mysteries a moment brings,” as writer Ellen Bernstein suggests. And with this month’s issue, we offer the second annual readers’ photo essay when once again readers share amazing examples of how they’ve captured the mysteries a moment can bring in Missouri’s great outdoors. I share my own captured moment of a field trip to the Kansas City area where I joined team members working with peregrine falcon chicks.

Thank goodness technology allows such images to be enjoyed by many, long after they’re captured. And such images can be captured only if we are staying present in the moment. As author and spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh encourages, “My destination is the here and now, the only time and place where true life is possible.”

Sara Parker Pauley, Director


Also In This Issue

This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation – Marcia Hale