Editor’s Note: It is with great sadness we print Amanda Bancroft’s final column here. But we know she’ll keep changing the world, and we wish her all the best in her new ventures!
Happy spring! The spring equinox was March 20, and the “egg season” has officially arrived at the same time this column is departing. Outside my window, tiny chickadees battle bluebirds for a nest box, daffodils speckle the fields with color, and new life is being born in every inch of space. Fresh starts and last chapters tend to go together, don’t they? Luckily, this is more of a migration than a true ending.
I need to flap my fingers outside of this printed page and write more for our sorely neglected Ripples blog, from which this column emerged in 2012. Did you know that each week, the “Making Ripples” column takes approximately three to 10 hours to research, write, photograph and edit? Blogging is one thing I’ll have more time to do, as well as history writing for the Johnson farmhouse archives, greeting card drawings, and conservation projects.
Thank you for reading all these years. I only write these columns because of you. In fact, I would have quit several years ago if you hadn’t kept writing to me about your roommate who reads this column out loud, or how much one made you laugh, or your grandmother who reads it every week, or how much you liked the bunny photo. Thank you for reading, all you current and retired science educators and Master Naturalists — wow, am I intimidated by readers who surely have more environmental knowledge than I ever will! Thanks to everyone who followed our journey and shared their dreams or past accomplishments; you are truly motivational inspirations. I hope you’ll continue making ripples in your own life and remain a part of ours.
After all, it’s not really goodbye. We’d love to visit with anyone who wants to see our off-grid cabin and can talk with you about our version of a sustainable lifestyle (and would love to hear about your own eco-journeys). There is an upcoming “Making Ripples” class offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on April 17 and 24. For more information, visit olli.uark.edu.
If you’re comfortable using a computer, hop online and visit our solar-hosted website. Ripples blog is about our journey to try and make a difference for both people and the planet in our daily life, while we update social media weekly with photos and brief notes about our challenges and triumphs off the grid. We do respond to comments in both places, and I’d be happy to correspond through “snail mail,” which has been a staple of my entire life.
I’m sorry if this feels like one more thing lost during the pandemic, but here’s a thought. Sure, it may be a tornado and not Mary Poppins coming toward you in those windswept clouds, but you have your own magic bag from which to pull forth a whole new world. Nothing and nobody can take away the fact that you matter. And only you can change the world in the way you do best. Keep making those ripples.
Amanda Bancroft is a writer, artist, and naturalist living in an off-grid tiny house. Schedule a visit by calling (479) 799-9909 or follow her adventures online at www.RipplesBlog.org. Questions, comments? Email [email protected]