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Fox Island seems an awfully long ways from the shores of the Bosphorus here in Istanbul. No wonder it seems a long way off, after all, it is...several thousand miles to be more specific. When my family is in Allen County, we take comfort in the fact that Fox Island's trails can carry us away from the cement and asphalt of the ever-growing, ever-moving highways and byways of Fort Wayne. That's why we eagerly purchased an annual pass last time we were home. It seems like good things happen when we take time to step into the rich natural heritage Fox Island offers.

This afternoon my wife and I enjoyed a brief reprieve from learning Turkish, studying the culture, and all the other tasks involved in rearing four boys in Turkey. Since we had some time, we decided to see the newest installment of the Lord of the Rings. The story was superb before Hollywood ever touched it, and thankfully in the attempt to put it on the silver screen they managed to preserve a lot of the story's goodness. One of my favorite scenes was when trees in an enchanted forest decide to battle the evil armies once they realize their beloved woodlands are threatened.

Recently we discovered just outside Istanbul a large, mature pine and hardwood forest covering miles of hills. When we got away from the smog and dust and noise and endless views of apartment blocks and into the quiet, still woodlands, it was like something inside came back to life.

Obviously people need space to live. This means room. But this doesn't exclude places like Fox Island and our nearby Black Sea woodland. If we leave them some space, they'll return the good deed with a refreshing breath of grace.


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