Thursday, October 10, 2019
Caring for Our Climate and Our Earth
This is strange autumn. Mother Nature seems confused. The temperature is bouncing up and down, sometimes zooming into the 90s. Our tulip tree, which usually loses all of its leaves by the end of August, still is partially green. The backyard normally is awash in leaves by now but the maple trees are only reluctantly shedding their foliage. It is October, right?
We do have acorns, though. Lots of them. We can hear them crunch underneath the cars that pass by and under our feet as we take our usual after-dinner walk. There seems to be more than ever dropping from the oak tree in front. At least the squirrels will have some good meals this winter.
If Mother Nature is confused, how are we to understand what is happening around us? We were up in the Alps not long ago and the temperature plus humidity soared to over 105 degrees! It’s hard not to take the concept of climate change seriously when the climate is changing all around us.
Other than observing our own tiny part of the world, how do we know this is happening? NASA helps inform us.
Our kids need to know what’s happening, too.
Earth is an incredible place. I hope that we can preserve its beauty and function and remember that we are visitors here. Let’s be good guests and care for our climate and ultimately our planet.
Friday, September 6, 2019
Inside and Outside
I have two pots of African violets sitting on my kitchen windowsill. Most of the time they just have fuzzy green leaves and no flowers but I like them anyway. This summer they started to bloom. Each little stem carried three or four beautiful flowers and more stems kept blooming. It has been a real treat for me to see every time I go to the sink and look up.
I also love the hibiscus plants outside my kitchen window. They have two blossoming times, one in the beginning of summer and the other at the season’s end. Their vibrant red flowers are riveting.
Today I looked at the African violets as I was pouring water into my teapot and was drawn to look outside at the hibiscus flowers. I gasped with pleasure. The inside flowers were beautiful. The outside flowers were beautiful. It made me suddenly aware of how beauty exists in both areas. We are amazing beings inside ourselves, full of intelligence and diversity. But we also are part of the outside world, interacting with what nature and other humans offer. If we can just remember that everything is part of the whole perhaps we can allow our inside and outside worlds to coexist in peace.
Yogi tea tag: “Be kind to others, but always be compassionate to yourself.”
Monday, August 5, 2019
Swans and Duck Together
We recently discovered a lake off the main road at a Jersey shore town. Geese were relaxing under the shade of the few trees on the edge of the lake while swans were enjoying a respite from the hot weather as they swam around on the cool water.
Then a small duck appeared. It was alone, no other ducks were obvious nearby, and seemed to be a young one. It swam toward the flock, its dark feathers a contrast to the white of the swans. I wondered if they would accept the little bird into their group but they didn’t look at all disturbed by its presence. The duck became part of the flock as it moved further out on the lake. It seemed as if the duck was identifying with the swans. So different and yet it belonged. They all seemed comfortable together.
I thought of the immigrants who come to our country. There are differences, yes, but traditionally we have accepted them. Are we changing our generosity for politics? Have we forgotten that we were all immigrants at one time? Swans and ducks are all birds. Americans and immigrants are all people. If they can accept each other, surely we can do the same.