Make Some Ripples

By Jim Sollecito

Jim Sollecito makes some ripples on Biscayne Bay. Florida.
Jim Sollecito makes some ripples on Biscayne Bay. Florida.

I am uncomfortable in big cities, always have been. The incessant noise does not allow me peace. It seems everyone is always so busy talking on devices about anything but the here and now. I feel they’re missing out on the small gems that enrich daily life.

Biscayne Bay is as close to Miami as I like to be: flyfishing for bonefish 12 ocean miles off the Florida Keys by skiff boat. You can see but not hear the city in the distant background. Forty-two years ago my wife Megan and I boat-camped here off Elliot Key while we were still dating. I thought the mosquitoes would carry us away. Instead of bitten, I ended up smitten.

As you can see from the photo on this page, I’m now very diligent to protect my skin from the sun. I aim to be far away from phone service and so subsequently, the shade. The disconnect is one of the attractions. You know, keeping it fun and in the moment. Phones can be a real drag. Shielded from the sun, phone off, focus unimpeded, I can truly enjoy the day without distractions.

When I was on the college wrestling team we would get gigs as concert security. I remember the 1973 Watkins Glen Summer Jam, along with 600,000 of my new best friends. Not one talking on a cell phone. Because they had not been invented yet. The air was filled with The Band, The Allman Brothers Band, the Grateful Dead and a lot of smoke from weed. “Ripple” by the Dead resonated. Listening, as if I were alone, a ripple on still water. Despite the fact that I was surrounded by a literal sea of humanity.

Every now and again that catchy tune pops into my head. Just a feel-good song that persists in my brain, making me smile and nod my head to the rhythm.

Sometimes this happens in my own backyard, when the sun warms the soil and my heart. My ritual, this reawakening happens every spring. Smelling the soil, tasting the fresh air, listening to droplets as they water freshly planted roots. Feeling alive and feeling life again. One ripple at a time.

It’s not always important to make waves. Sometimes a ripple is enough. It intersects and occasionally overlaps with others. As we take advantage of outdoor opportunities let’s silence our electronic devices and experience the miracle that it is to participate in this planet. You know I “seas the day” when I can. It helps to place myself in proper perspective to the larger scope of the world.

Take the moment, go outside, and experience the positive impact within you and around you. Your contentment and happiness will ripple to the point of overflow.

Jim Sollecito is the first lifetime senior certified landscape professional in NYS. He operates Sollecito Landscaping Nursery in Syracuse. Contact him at 468-1142 or