When we moved to FL from MI, we were given weird tales of flora and fauna.  Gators that lurked everywhere, dining each evening on cats and dogs.  Snakes, all poisonous, hiding under each leaf, eager to puncture and inject their venom.  Poisonous plants and trees, scorpions and centipedes, millipedes and giant cockroaches—creeping, crawling, and flying horrors that seemed overwhelming.  I’ve lived here now for 24 years, and my life is one of peaceful détente. Yes, there are poisonous creatures, but their poison is chiefly a defensive mechanism; if left alone, they tend to hurry away.  Should such a creature be more persistent, the hose usually does the job.  There are, it’s true, some unwelcome creatures here that bite with unpleasant consequences, but similar creatures exist in most other places as well.  All in all, I am in awe of the world around me.  Live and let live is our general philosophy since we are the newcomers.  To see the beauty and variety of the world around me is to see God in all of His creative energy.

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