Another Rebirth

My Dear Friend,

Will you understand? Or will you just see a mountain to conquer?

I have experienced every emotion imaginable within this mountain cathedral. Joy, pain, love, security, insecurity, loss, fear, contentment, wonder.

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Today, as I took a last look for the season at the rooftop of this grand place, I worried how you would feel upon your first visit. Because if you are not open to loving it as I have, then I don’t want share it. I would rather keep it safe for myself.

I have been on both the giving and receiving ends of lessons here. I have seen beauty; I have seen death. And more than I can express, I have seen rebirth.

I have seen the rebirth of forests and landscapes that were taken for granted, mountains and trees who would always be there for us. Slopes green with conifers, rushing waterfalls, and flowers of every color and shape that we photograph endlessly because we have an inkling that they might be special for some reason.

But why are they special? Are they truly for us? Or are we each just part of this picture?

When I wore a ranger’s uniform, people would ask me why all of the trees were dead. Some people, who looked with very limited vision, saw only grey tree trunks and death. And a bug to blame. Not only did they miss the continuation of life, but they didn’t train their vision on the processes, the next generation, and the future. They thought only of the here and now.

Furthermore, did they really stopp to consider the role our species has played in this death and rebirth?

Ther was an audible sigh on the wind today. This cathedral has been trampled by the unseeing masses for months now, and needs its winter rest. It needs the refreshing snows, the cold and dark that trigger so many annual rituals. It also needs understanding, care and a view of the bigger picture on our part.

The trees and rivers need protection, respect, and people to reconnect with the natural processes upon which our lives depend. We can’t just see a mountain and climb it. We must fight for wildness. We must fight to just be allowed to clean up our water sources. We must fight for fresh air and the plants that help us clean up the polution our lifestyles create.

We must fight for these resources. Because with out them, our lives won’t exist. It is not enough to say we care. We must put action in the place of words.

Our National Parks and other public lands are the remaining vestiges of the continent as it was intended to operate. We would do well to heed the lessons they teach.

So when you get out here, don’t spend your time trying to summit a peak. Rather, slow down and sit by a stream and be mezmerized by the endless patterning of the ripples. Watch the squirrels chatter and scamper about in their search for food. Listen to the bees buzz from flower to flower as they play their role. Smell the forest floor after a rain.

Please do yourself a favor. Stop thinking of this as your mid-life crisis and realize this is a chance for rebirth in a sacred place. I hope I am priviledged enough to be a part of it.

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30 Day Writing Challenge — BONUS: RIP Starbucks Red Cups

I just don’t care!

I really don’t give a damn what color Starbucks chooses to make their ‘seasonal’ cups. And I really don’t understand why some people have the time to care what color Starbucks prints on the outsides of their cups. Seriously, a one-color printing job is probably cheaper than a multi-color print, so why wouldn’t they go for the bottom line?

Instead, I believe a much bigger issue is at stake: Why are we still using paper cups in the first place? Come on, people, this is the twenty-first century, is it not? Why aren’t we using our reusable cups?

A nice reminder of two fun weeks I had at the Grand Canyon this year. It's reusable. ;)

A nice reminder of two fun weeks I had at the Grand Canyon this year. It’s reusable. 😉

Seriously, we cannot reforest our planet fast enough to keep up with our paper demand – even in this increasingly digital age. I found this article about how Starbucks cups are made, and really it just made me mad. We need these trees for clean air and water, and paper cups are just such a waste of resources.

Additionally, check out how polyethylene is made – it’s a component of their cups too.

All of this for one use that will end up in a trash dump?

Of course, I’m also the person who brings cloth bags to the grocery store.

Random Notes from a long week

This last week has been long and tiresome.

With all of the gardening stuff going around on Facebook and Pinterest lately, and me being stuck in this smoggy city with grey snow and ice every few days, I have been planning endless pots of flowers and veggies for my tiny patio. I have lots of seeds sprouting and big ideas for them once the last frost has passed.

These have been a welcome relief from the bigger pressing issues of the week:

1) Mr. Patronizing at work. Mr. P. speaks to me as though I am one of his 10 children I suppose he is used to his stay-at-home wife who has lived a very different life than me. But I am not his wife, nor his child. In fact, this man is less than five years older than me.

He’s just an idiot without a clue. Oh, but he did buy a Hummer H2 this week. So he’s a rich idiot with 10 kids.

2) The mess in the Ukraine. I have discussed this with a couple of history-minded friends (who also happen to be politically-minded). There are lots of patterns being repeated from the twentieth century over there. It is both sad and scary. I am wondering about our national response.

A book I have been reading discusses the American presidents post World War II,  and how they worked together, ofter WAY behind the scenes, to deal with current crises. Stories of Hoover and Truman intrigue me, as I don’t see much of Bush reflecting Hoover’s wartime efforts.

I guess we will see, eh?

3) The horrific picture from Redwoods National and State Parks that was everywhere last weekend (NPS photo):

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To do that to a 2,000 year old tree in a National Park must take real callousness. And a total lack if disregard for anyone or anything other than yourself. My friend boiled it down to one word… Greed.

I know burls make interesting wood for veneers and furniture. And I am sure that this tree was sacraficed for the black market.

Yet another reason to make things yourself. You know your finished products weren’t the result of embarrassing black market activities.

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I actually had started a note about the Redwoods, but I just couldn’t finish it. That picture made me rather numb all week.

What got to you last week?