Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | January 1, 2024
From Missouri Conservationist: January 2024

The morning’s thick gray sky looked as though it could unleash buckets of snow or frigid-cold rain at any moment. Such a sky looks very different against winter’s palette of browns than it does against spring’s exquisite shades of green — its heaviness looming over me like a dense wool blanket.

On these wintery weekend days as the New Year approaches, I have a reclusive yearning to carve out time for quiet reflection — time away from devices and others’ voices, so that I can hear my own thoughts and find perspective on the year’s last chapter as it closes and consider the one that is to come. 

Writer Pico Lyer speaks of this need for stillness when he says, “It isn’t about turning your back on the world: it’s about stepping away now and then so that you can see the world more clearly and love it more deeply.” 

As we do with each January issue, we pause to reflect on the conservation work we’ve accomplished with partners during the previous year in our effort “to protect and manage the fish, forest, and wildlife resources of the state; and to facilitate and provide opportunity for all citizens to use, enjoy, and learn about these resources.” (See Annual Review on Page 10.) 

There is clarity and restoration in the pause. It gives us space to account for and appreciate our journey, to recharge our batteries and contemplate the path ahead. And then with renewed focus, energy, and commitment, we begin again.

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