Monday, September 17, 2012

A Missed Opportunity

This morning I was hiking in Montgomery Woods. For two hours, I did not see another person in the grove. Just as I was hiking out, a fine dressed couple was standing on the lip of the grove taking a picture of a deer not too far away. (In order to reach the grove, a person must hike a quarter of a mile or so uphill. Once a person reaches the lip, there is a slight downhill that leads to the grove and then it completely flattens out. There, on the plane, are the giant redwoods.)

"Sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt your picture," I said to the couple.
"Oh, that's quite all right, I got the picture I wanted," the man said in an English accent.
"So," the man said, "is there anything else to see here, or is it just more trees?"
"More trees?" I asked somewhat shocked. The couple hadn't even entered the grove yet.
"Oh, I mean they are quite lovely," the man said obviously sensing my shock at his question.

At this point, I tried to convince the couple to head in and walk around the trees for a little while. I also tried to give a few facts about redwoods but quickly realized that my point of view was quite lacking in persuasion. I am no salesman that's for sure. Facts in my brain are like water through a spaghetti strainer. Unless I practice regularly, facts eventually drain out of my mind, and all I'm left with is a few drops of knowledge here and there. I realized it was a missed opportunity. In order to show folks that these can be more than "just trees," I will have to work on solidifying a presentation, to give folks a reason to go in, get a little dirty, and hopefully allow the trees to teach them a thing or two. 


  1. Some amount of practice will help. Also, don't try to throw too many facts at someone. Focus on one fact, or one theme that two or three facts all relate to. People are often curious, but they don't really want to be lectured to. Keep it short, and, if they're interested, they'll ask you more questions, and you can go from there.