Friday, July 8, 2016

On Saranac Lake

Over the Fourth of July weekend, my only concession to the patriotic holiday was a red, white and blue pinwheel stuck into the gunwale of my canoe. We paddled around the many islands of Lower Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Park and slept at a campsite on one of them. Our island was Halfway Island, next to Green Island, above Burnt Island, below Knobby Island, and near Hatchet Island and Bluff Island. They all look exactly alike, and as we approached at sundown, we rejoiced to discover our land before nightfall. Maybe it would have been wonderful to drift on the canoe all night...

The park doesn't allow fireworks so we were spared the cracks and explosions that I normally like. All around us was water--water all around our island; water all around our canoe. It was beyond peaceful as we met a loon preening himself just a few feet away from us and a bald eagle swooping into the lake for his prey. My patriotism for my country lies in adoration for this country's wilderness, for the vast empty places. I think a worship of the wild places is also my religion. What a gorgeous place is the state of New York that Bill McKibben calls the Saudi Arabia of water. And the great news is that we have protected it from hydro-fracking so hopefully most of it will continue to be pristine.

Although I didn't write on the trip, my mind is still filled with the sight of water for inspiration. Happily, I will not get the sight of it out of my mind. I hope that everyone will be able to draw nourishment this summer from bodies of water. We live, after all, on the beautiful blue planet.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Ice Cream that Matches Everyone by Abha Kulkarni

During this cold January, we hope you enjoy this creative take on ice cream, the dessert that is always welcome and brings us back to warm and lovely summer days. Just taste it! 

There must be no sane person who doesn’t love it. The moment we lay eyes on it, our mouths water and our eyes glow with craving. Its sweet smell makes us swoon with delight and pleases anyone who takes even a quick glimpse. No matter if it’s a kid who is three or an adult who is seventy three, ice cream is the one and only thing that always brings a bright smile to their faces, by the mere sight of it. People forget their worries even if it’s just for a second and are able to enjoy the cool sensation as it touches their tongues. As the cool, decadent ice cream melts on their warm tongues and the flavor spreads throughout their bodies, it’s like a nice, warm fire spreading through the whole body radiating from the core.  While all flavors of ice cream give you a special feeling inside and bring you small amounts of joy, each one of those flavors has a special story to go along with the consumer.
There are many mysteries to ice cream flavors. They are used to express gratitude, friendship, and emotions such as love. The fascinating element about these flavors is that they can express personalities. We can tell a lot about people’s personalities by just looking at the flavor that they like.
Flavors like vanilla and chocolate are the most common, and even though they are thought to be plain and boring, they show a lot about the personality of a person.  Vanilla, the most popular flavor of ice cream in the United States, tells us that the person is known to have a colorful and a cheerful personality, who likes taking risks. She sets high goals for herself and has the ability to strive hard to achieve a goal. Then there is chocolate! This sweet rich and creamy yogurt with ice and cocoa butter is delicious and is always thought to be a luxurious dessert. It’s rich in flavor and melts quickly on your mouth. This type of personality is creative, charming and lively. Apart from being charming and talented, chocolate-lovers are easily able to express and be honest with their feelings. Personality-wise, they are seductive and alluring, but along with that, they are naive and can be easily tricked into something.  A great thing about this personality is that when a chocolate-lover is happy, it clearly shows and the person doesn’t try to hide it.
You see, vanilla and chocolate are complete opposites, but they provide the base of each individual flavor. Just take mint chocolate chip, for example. With a vanilla base and mint flavor, green color and chocolate chips, it’s also a mix of the two personalities. A person with this personality is ambitious, confident, loyal and honest. With this personality, mingling is easy. She is a person who accepts everything as it is and deals with it accordingly. Sometimes disputes are bound to happen and with a nature like this, relationships can be difficult. Although this stubborn nature may work for business relationships, it can cause disputes in her personal life. Nevertheless, it is an honest nature, reliability, and dedication that help build long-lasting relationships with family and friends.
Ice cream is something anyone of any age can enjoy in any weather. Fans don’t really need a reason to indulge, and every time it is mentioned a person like me would say “sure let's go eat ice cream,” no matter what the time of the day, type of weather, or situation. Every flavor represents a fairly distinct personality with a very unique story. So, which ice cream personality are you?

Abha Kulkarni is a high school senior with a great interest in biology. She hopes to get into a good medical school and achieve her dream of becoming a great doctor. She has other talents as well, such as art, music and exceptional skills in cooking.