As messing around in that ravine. Its' slow slope slant carried my feet past our garden's last fence post Into a cool dark pattern of mottled light leading down to a skinny clear rivelet that I immediately stirred. To see quartz grains of sand, tan soils, whirl, set my heart flipping. To watch flowing water clear my mess in a flash Set me free to uncrouch, explore. In season, I walked among woodland Lady slipper jack in the pulpit bloodroot My family taught me to leave the wild, be. It will die in our garden and you will have Stolen something sweet from where it likes to live. It confused me to think that sunflowers loved our garden, but tended rows that brought Hunterdon County fair ribbons, would kill Trillium violets may apple there was nothing so wonderful I captured them anyway but, only on paper. In 4th grade, Wildflowers of New Jersey earned A+. Long miles away I wonder, Do they still bloom? Jan Godown Annino Poem note: my inspiration for the title and opening line is from Kenneth Graham, Wind in the Willows: "There is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Messing around in fields, woods and shores of N.J. formed Jan's child days, until Florida shores became her nature home in middle grade. Her collaborative title with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, SHE SANG PROMISE, The Story of Betty Mae Jumper, was selected by the Library of Congress for the National Book Festival. Jan's debut in TSL, Nov. 2, 2022 is "Assisted Writing," with her occasional poetry credit: JG Annino. Her MFA is Hollins and BA, UF. She tends organic trees and plants with her family, in Tallahassee.