Christmas gift

December 24

I received a nice Christmas present yesterday while checking out a bower in Coffs Harbor. I bumped into an old friend, Phil, whom I hadn’t seen in three years. We had tried to get in touch, but some things had changed in their lives and it just wasn’t happening (yet). I could only show an unanswered email for my efforts. Let me explain then why finding Phil was so remarkable, so back to the bower.

I was a bit pressed for time and was planning on slipping into the bush, deploying a simple experiment, setting up a camera, and getting out. We had Christmas errands to take care of. Well, when I went into the forest and got close to the bower site, I saw a man in coveralls, with a backpack sprayer, working on bush regeneration. That surprised me for I thought that no other human on the planet had ever been to this particular spot. We call this bower the school swamp bower for it is really located in a swampy place. Once, I had come in right after a big rain event and the bower was mostly flooded and a rushing torrent had swept all the guy’s blue decorations down stream. So yea, it’s a bit kinky and hard to get to.

Well, I didn’t want to scare the man so as I approached, I gave a big old American “Hi there, what’s happen’n”? And all along I am thinking how am I going to get my work done? Will it be ok to leave the camera? Things like that. So, he turned around and said, “Hey Elliot, what are you doing here? I’d recognize that voice anywhere!” It was Phil! So yea, pretty cool. One of the few people that I really wanted to see in the last three years shows up at my bower in the middle of the swamp on the day before Christmas. Had I been there five minutes earlier or later, I’d have missed him completely. Surely the universe works in mysterious ways.

I don’t have a picture of Phil, but here’s one of some of my other friends that I hang out with :-). Perhaps we will share Christmas dinner together!

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