It’s the morning of Christmas Eve, and the creatures are stirring. This morning I watched the horses run free on the snowy fields beyond the woods. Closing the trunk of my car, I spooked a dozen deer I hadn’t seen between those horses and me. We don’t always see what’s right in front of us.

On mornings like this I’m grateful to live here, even as the area changes with more development encroaching on the woods and fields I take for granted. Southern New Hampshire is changing. There’s been so much development in the three towns around me that they’re piping in water from reservoirs to the north to keep up with rising demand. Politicians celebrate the increased tax revenue of Plus 55 housing that comes without the hit on the school budget that more families would bring. So conservation is an uphill battle. You either fight development or you look the other way. Unfortunately I tend to look the other way, focusing instead on career and family. But the people who get things done find a way. It’s all priorities and focus, isn’t it?

Open land is like the deer I saw this morning. You’re so focused on other things that you don’t notice what’s right in front of you until it’s too late. As I’ve referenced before, they’re paving paradise to put up a parking lot. I’m already missing what’s gone. So what am I going to do about the rest?