On The Ridge
I raced after my life for a long time, trying to reach it, without realizing I was in it.
Barn At Sunrise
I have vague recollections of the transitory whats and wheres I thought I was trying to get to.
Thistle Down Shower
Alas, I’m glad I didn’t make it.
This destiny, this destination, this here and now is more spectacular than ever I could have dreamed,
and has come to me in ways I never would have imagined.
Why Can’t People
Why can’t people just be people,
And leave each other alone?
Then every child would have a home
In the sunshine.
Why can’t all my brothers and sisters
Reach out a helping hand?
Why can’t they try to understand
‘Cause we’re running out of time.
(People, we are running out of time.)
Why can’t people just be good neighbors,
Learn how to get along?
We gotta teach a newborn bird to fly.
All by itself, we gotta teach it how to fly.
If we could only realize
We’re all just God’s children anyway,
Maybe he won’t seem so far away.
Rest in peace, Charles Edward Daniels, 1936-2020
He leaves wife Hazel, and son Charlie Daniels, Jr.
Heaven’s chorus now enjoys another voice.
“‘Cause we are running out of time.”
Wild Tiger Lilies
It seems as though we’ve just watched
The last of the snow fade.
Now we cut the growing grass
Blade by blade.
We keep watch for hummingbirds
And the peony’s blooms.
We can open our windows (at least in the day),
In our sunny summer rooms.
Summer Solstice brings promise,
Today the day is long.
We turn to see the rose’s bloom…
And June is gone.
Doone The Cat
Just keep feeding the cat.
Sometimes our lives feel like whirlwinds.
Sometimes we question our very existence.
It can be mind-boggling.
Meanwhile, we must keep feeding the cat.
It is a Known Good.
Duty and regimen.
All things must pass.
Some days it’s all we have.
Until things settle.
Until we sort things out.
Until things become clearer.
In the meantime, keep feeding the cat.
A Known Good for the cat, too.
It was not the governments of the world that tore down the Berlin Wall.
It was not soldiers in uniforms, nor officials or dignitaries.
The Wall was brought down by ordinary people. Millhands and plumbers and taxi drivers and waitresses.
People who would no longer tolerate the isolation and separatism practiced by their native countries.
The Earth is our homeland.
We are one people.
Ellie and the Pinata
My Syrian Children
The faces of “Refugees”
My Sisters, circa 1970
What will you dream?
Ryan & me
Little Bit on the Cape
My Dad, Mom, sister & me. Circa 1966.
Training wheels off.
Pop Pop, Nana, my sister, and me. Circa 1970.
Fate has woven within it
an intrinsic twist.
Mortals may never know
what lies around the curve.
|Legacy and Learning in 50 years of Earth Day
|A note from Natalie Dawson, Executive Director at Audubon Alaska
Earth Day 1970, Fairbanks, Alaska: Secretary of Interior Wally Hickel canoes on the Chena River to talk about water pollution. He gives a speech about “shifting man’s thinking from military defense toward the environment” at the University of Alaska Fairbanks alongside the mayor of Fairbanks who quotes Tennyson, and Dr. Donald Aitken, who started the now-famous conservation group Friends of the Earth. It was an apolitical showing of art-politics-activism for a celebration of our home, our “mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” Sometimes it is difficult to remember what we are able to accomplish when we come together.
Bipartisanship reigned on the first Earth Day. We put aside our sharply divided society in the midst of the Vietnam War to address our impacts to water, air, farm fields, bald eagles, songbirds, marine mammals, and civil rights. We passed legislation to protect clear air, clean water, endangered species, labor unions, and healthy foods. We made steps forward. We slid backward. We learned from mistakes. Progress.
Earth Day 2020, Anchorage, Alaska: A global pandemic reminds us we are part of, not apart from, the world around us. It tells us that we can take collective action and make immediate impacts. Whales return to Southeast Alaska and cruise ships are not there to photograph them. The water is cleaner. Earth is quieter. We breathe cleaner air right now and so does the planet. A friend writes, “I wonder if the bears notice the lack of visitors at the Mendenhall Glacier.” We realize we have so much to learn because it turns out there is so much we do not understand.
And in this way, we find ourselves sitting in this united classroom that is Planet Earth. Like the first Earth Day, which was originally organized as a teach-in across college campuses in the U.S., we are once again students. We are learning about suffering, destruction, and the chance for renewal. We hear birdsongs for the first time. We learn about what we can and cannot afford to lose, and what we need to build. We have an incredible moment to create a new world built on shared experience because none of us have been here before, and we must move forward together.
Thistle Down Shower
Everyone can do something.
Seek peace and stay well,
Joy In Motion
continue to echo,
to circle back,
time and again.
multiplexing on a vector
with the present season.
Like practicing a song
you know by rote,
until you know it