Skip to main content

Islanders on the Move - Where Mother Earth is the playing field

Jan 02, 2016 09:03AM ● Published by Cory Batelaan

Where Mother Earth is the playing field

By Dr. Randall Niehoff

“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll end up someplace else.”  —Yogi Berra

The first few weeks of the new year mark the last few weeks of the NFL season. What began outdoors on a practice field ends in the explosive excitement of the most watched game of sport in America: the Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, here on our islands’ beaches, the greatest outdoor sporting event in the world occurs everyday, and anyone can play. All you have to do is stand or sit quietly at the shoreline and gaze intently at the eastern horizon, the crest of the hill over which the sun and moon make their appearance. You are perched on the leading edge of the largest ball we can get our hands on (the life-giving sphere we call Mother Earth). As you occupy that spot, you are moving with the grace of an Olympian in multiple directions all at once, at speeds that are infinitely faster than super.

Science has discovered that our “Earthball” dances with the stars, demonstrating raw athleticism as it busts a move. We fellow riders are twirled along like dancers following our partner’s lead. Ours is a front-row seat on the face of a terrestrial missile that is streaking through space around the closest star at 69,361 miles per hour. At the same time we are diving down over that horizon as our planet barrel-rolls toward the east at 1,037 miles per hour. And if you’re not dizzy yet, imagine the effects of our solar system drifting, our Milky Way galaxy swirling, and the whole universe expanding—all at a pace Nascar can only dream about. Talk about your “outdoor sports.”

Justifiably proud of our intellectual ability to recognize all this movement, it is still a mark of our unique humanity to raise the old question: but where are we going? Yogi Berra said it well:  “We’re lost, but we’re making good time.”

Those who live, work, visit and recreate on our gulf coast islands embody a response to that ancient query: the spirit of our times demonstrates less concern with the destination and more focus on the journey. Encoded in our local governmental laws and embodied in almost everyone’s personal behavior are these positive and healthy styles of “travel”:

  • Outdoor livinggratitude and respect for nature and its creatures and a joyful determination to conserve and care for our blessed and favored environment;
  • Good sportsmanship—inclusive housing, recreation and education; government officials responsive to citizens and businesses to customers; broad volunteerism in civic, charitable, religious and service organizations; widely supported commitment to being good neighbors (for example, on the sports field one plays as a competitor; on the road one drives or bikes as a colleague).
So, when you are on the islands, come along for the ride—by whatever means you prefer to move.

Dr. Randall Niehoff has lived on Sanibel since 1991.

Local Living featured Earthball
  • Sunday Farmers Market

    09/24/2017
    08:30AM — 01:00PM

    Meet in the Historic Settlement of Koreshan State Historic Site at our quaint market EVERY SUNDAY...


  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    09/24/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...


  • Explore the Koreshan Unity Settlement Historic District, listed on the National Register of Histo...


  • Family Day at Millennial Brewing

    09/24/2017
    12:00PM — 05:00PM

    We have the perfect place to grab some food and a drink while the kids play, meet new friends, an...


  • Drawing I & II

    09/24/2017
    02:00PM — 04:00PM

    This class is for beginners and for those who have previously taken Drawing I. We will also revis...


  • SPECIAL TIME!!! HAPPY HOUR and Doors OPEN at 4:45pm, GAME Starts at 5:30pm SPECIAL MILITARY RA...


  • "ALOHA" FAASWFL Hawaiian Night

    09/24/2017
    06:00PM — 10:00PM

    The Filipino American Association of SWFL proudly presents it' Annual ALOHA Hawaiian Night on Sep...


  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    09/25/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...


  • Sanibel Shell Crafters

    09/25/2017
    10:00AM — 03:00PM

    Visit The Sanibel Shell Crafters every Monday all year long from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to watch this d...


  • Mangrove Maze Eco-Tour

    09/25/2017
    10:00AM

    Guided exploration of the mangrove wilderness on part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail....


  • Mirror, Mirror... Exhibition

    09/25/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Mirror, Mirror… September 1 - 28, 2017 Opening Reception: Friday, September 1, 2017, 6pm-8pm C...


  • Sunset Kayak Eco-Tour

    09/25/2017
    03:30PM

    Paddle Matlacha Pass meandering through mangrove shrouded trails. Guides are ACA Certified Kayak ...


  • Complete original art while enjoying friends, music and favorite beverages. Materials provided, o...


  • Ballroom Dancing

    09/25/2017
    06:30PM — 09:30PM

    USA Dance offers beginning Ballroom Dance Lessons and a Social Dance on Monday nights. The lesson...


  • Caloosahatchee Sunset Cruise

    09/25/2017
    07:00PM

    Relaxing environment as the sun is setting, the shoreline and river elements taking on a differen...


  • FineMark Exhibtion of FGCU Art Alumni

    09/27/2017
    09:00AM — 04:00PM

    From July 10 - September 29, 2017, Finemark National Bank and Trust will be displaying the work o...


  • Open Painting at The Paint Escape

    09/27/2017
    10:00AM — 06:00PM

    Ceramic painting for children and adults, create a decorative item. Friday night offers ladie...


  • Mangrove Maze Eco-Tour

    09/27/2017
    10:00AM

    Guided exploration of the mangrove wilderness on part of the Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail....


  • Mirror, Mirror... Exhibition

    09/27/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Mirror, Mirror… September 1 - 28, 2017 Opening Reception: Friday, September 1, 2017, 6pm-8pm C...


  • Sunset Kayak Eco-Tour

    09/27/2017
    03:30PM

    Paddle Matlacha Pass meandering through mangrove shrouded trails. Guides are ACA Certified Kayak ...


  • Complete original art while enjoying friends, music and favorite beverages. Materials provided, o...


  • Open Mic Night at The French Press

    09/27/2017
    06:30PM — 09:30PM

    Grab your instrument, warm up your voice, Wednesdays from 6:30- 9:30pm.


  • Caloosahatchee Sunset Cruise

    09/27/2017
    07:00PM

    Relaxing environment as the sun is setting, the shoreline and river elements taking on a differen...


  • Haunted History Tour

    09/27/2017
    08:00PM

    90-minute walk through downtown Fort Myers reveals a darker side, including stories of both resid...


Proudly Brought To You By These Community Sponsors