“If your house is on fire, you don’t comfort yourself with the thought that houses have been catching fire for thousands of years. You don’t sit idly back and think, ‘Oh well, that is the way of nature.’ You get going, immediately. And you don’t spring into action because of an idealistic notion that houses deserve to be saved. You do it because if you don’t, you won’t have a place to live.” ~Bill Nye, Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World, 2015
We have a president that ignores and dismisses anything that is not profitable to himself in some way or another. His entire focus is power and wealth. But like most men wrapped up in themselves, he is a disgustingly small package.
At a time in history when climate change demands strong, determined action from global leaders, the #BLOTUS, thumbs his nose at science and turns his back on responsibility. He has bet the devil his fiddle of gold won’t melt in the fire. Then the little man paused, smirked, and said, ” to hell with the rest of them.”
My father was 85 when he was killed on a Texas highway. Another car plowed into his from behind. The other car was driven by a nurse late to work and heavily medicated. She survived with minor injuries.
My father was working at the time of his death. That’s not surprising to me. He grew up in a poor single parent family during the depression. He and his siblings knew hunger. For my father, to be a man meant you worked. And so he worked. He worked until the day he day he died.
Good meaningful work is a key part of our humanity. But, there’s far more to life than being busy. Work is not the end all and the be all of our existence.
Now, at almost 70 I am taking Thoreau’s admonition to heart I have come to realize that going into the woods is vital if I am to live deeply and suck the marrow of life. The more time I spend immersed in nature, the more alive I feel.
Take time to live before you die. As someone recently told me, “This isn’t a dress rehearsal.” We only get one chance.
We pray to the great Spiritual Power in which we live and move and have our being. We pray that we may at all times keep our minds open to new ideas and shun dogma; that we may grow in our understanding of the nature of all living beings and our connectedness with the natural world; that we may become ever more filled with generosity of spirit and true compassion and love for all life; that we may strive to heal the hurts that we have inflicted on nature and control our greed for material things, knowing that our actions are harming our natural world and the future of our children; that we may value each and every human being for who he is, for who she is, reaching to the spirit that is within, knowing the power of each individual to change the world.We pray for social justice, for the alleviation of the crippling poverty that condemns millions of people around the world to lives of misery – hungry, sick, and utterly without hope. We pray for the children who are starving, who are condemned to homelessness, slave labor, and prostitution, and especially for those forced to fight, to kill and torture even members of their own family. We pray for the victims of violence and war, for those wounded in body and for those wounded in mind. We pray for the multitudes of refugees, forced from their homes to alien places through war or through the utter destruction of their environment.We pray for suffering animals everywhere, for an end to the pain caused by scientific experimentation, intensive farming, fur farming, shooting, trapping, training for entertainment, abusive pet owners, and all other forms of exploitation such as overloading and overworking pack animals, bull fighting, badger baiting, dog and cock fighting and so many more.We pray for an end to cruelty, whether to humans or other animals, for an end to bullying, and torture in all its forms. We pray that we may learn the peace that comes with forgiving and the strength we gain in loving; that we may learn to take nothing for granted in this life; that we may learn to see and understand with our hearts; that we may learn to rejoice in our being.We pray for these things with humility; We pray because of the hope that is within us, and because of a faith in the ultimate triumph of the human spirit; We pray because of our love for Creation, and because of our trust in God. We pray, above all, for peace throughout the world.
The earth was established to be in common for all, rich and poor….Nature makes no distinctions among us at our birth, and none at our death. All alike she creates us, all alike she seals us in the tomb. Who can tell the dead apart? Open up the graves, and, if you can, tell which was a rich man. – Saint Ambrose
Saint Ambrose is right, isn’t he? Our planet is home to all of us. All of us are born, live our lives and then die. In the end our socio-economic status makes absolutely no difference.
The shame is that during our brief sojourn on this blessed sphere we do our best to magnify every possible distinction between us. It’s a shame because we are all one family.
Instead of loving each other as we have been loved, we all “have to have someone we can look down on” as the saying goes. We have completely lost sight of the fact we are all connected. And I am not just talking about our social, economic and ethnic distinctions. We have forgotten that all of humanity is one and every single one of us is integrally connected to this wonderful planet.
Everything is connected, and all of us are part of an exquisite interwoven whole that is earth. How sad it is that we no longer understand that. We allow and take part in destruction of each other and our environment with absolutely no conscious thought.
That’s a damned shame. Rich or poor, what does it matter?
Like Edward Abbey wrote in his introduction to THE JOURNEY HOME, “I am not a naturalist. I never was and never will be a naturalist.” But, Like Abbey I am a deep and passionate lover of nature. My most intense joy is being immersed in nature in any of its myriad of guises.
Right now I am again soaking up the solitude and splendor that is my small slice of Snake Mountain. PreSpring is here. The snow is gone. And if the bright sunshine hasn’t actually knocked the chill from the air, it has revealed that it won’t be long before those loveliest shades of green will be covering the mountain from the ridges down to the creek.
I have been waiting to get up here since before the new year kicked off. Actually, I’ve been here several times, but never for more than a couple or three days. And I will admit it…I’m greedy when it comes to Snake Mountain. Two or three days is just not enough time to soak up the beauty of this place.
Even though it probably doesn’t sound like it, I am here working. My next book, STOP HUNGER NOW: Ending Hunger in Our Lifetime is due out in early December. That’s a short timeline. But, that doesn’t keep me from soaking up the richness and beauty which surrounds me as I write.
I’ve been able to get over a thousand words into the machine this morning, so now it’s time for a little reward. My walking stick is by the door so for me it mean’s it’s time to grab the camera and head down toward the creek. Besides, I need the exercise to stay sharp.