Reading With Jim Skiba

Other Books

Jim Skiba

The Secret Lives of Water Drops - Lily Makes a New Friend in Costa Rica

The Secret Lives of Water Drops - Lily Rides Helicopters in Vermont

The Secret Lives of Water Drops - Poppy Rides the Waves with Two Surfers in California

Saturday, May 7, 2022
10:00 am

Reading With Jim Skiba

Jim will read the second book in his series as well as discuss his inspiration for creating a new genre: “Nature Books with a Mystical Journey”

About the author

Jim Skiba

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It was many years ago in the month of December when a large drop of water started to collect itself on a papaya leaf in the early morning light. I had been roused from sleep by a noisy yellow-billed toucan sitting on one of the papaya’s branches barely six feet away. It was still several minutes before the rosy-fingered dawn and I was unable to distinguish the many colors of the jungle - or to see almost anything. Yet, in my daze, I knew this moment marked the beginning of an extraordinary adventure.

I was in Costa Rica, perched high on a balcony overlooking the bay of the Pacific Ocean (Golfo de Nicoya), with my bare feet resting on the cool tile - grey and cream-colored 9-by-9 inch squares. It was my first morning in this strange country, but soon I would be transported to another place altogether: right into the secret lives of water drops (and the rest of this story will be told by the water drops themselves!)

My greatest joy is helping people challenge themselves to grow. I don’t want to make them become like me, but rather to help them to discover themselves. A personal goal is to draw on my life experiences, professional career and academic background to help others find deeper meaning in their jobs and in their lives.

I have been a self-starter since the age of 6. I am a conservationist at heart. Although my grandfather was the foreman at a large lumber camp in Northern Michigan and in charge of cutting down hundreds of acres of Virgin Pine, as a young man I spent time with my brothers planting more than 50,000 trees to fill in the empty spots in 500 acres of prime climax forest that my father bought. We could not plant a new tree within 6 feet of one already growing.

Today, I spend my time teaching others around the world how to be sustainable. We all must adapt and learn how to become more sustainable.

I have tended gardens my entire life—even in San Francisco. I currently grow 30 kinds of vegetables, 10 kinds of herbs and many other edibles. In some ways, people resemble plants—they need special care in order to grow, the best lighting, the correct amount of nutrients and water, and ongoing attention. Like most plants, they thrive with the appropriate companion planting.

I learned from my grandmother and from the philosopher Martin Heidegger that the flowers in a garden need to be carefully arranged. The tall ones must be in the back, the medium ones in front of them and the shortest ones in the front so that each will get adequate light. There are plants that prefer shade and others that require a lot of sunshine. Each kind also prefers a certain amount of water. Basil grows best in the shadow of the tomato plant, it is a companion plant. Like plants, people also thrive when they are offered the most optimal conditions for their growth.

With people, as with plants, the best results come from careful planning. Make a plan and then adjust as needed to the ever-changing conditions.

We often think that we, as humans, are the most important beings on this planet, and that the world is centered around us. I imagine that water drops are amused at this notion, and consider us humans to be newcomers, long after the plants, the fish in the sea and the animals on land.

I would be delighted if others enjoy these stories of water drops and how they have been impacting the rest of the world for millions of years. They made me a better person when I took the time to listen.

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