Archive for May 2014
The Paddler’s Planet by Christian Wagley
Last weekend I hosted a group of friends at my home to celebrate my visiting mother’s 71st birthday. We all sat in the shade of my front porch, enjoying ample food and beverage as my front-yard garden took-in the warmth of the fading late afternoon sun.
Near the end of the gathering one of my friends came to me and said: “You know, this is what people around here used to do.” He talked about how his family did more of this when he was growing-up–simple gatherings of friends over good food and good conversation—and how enjoyable it is. And that got me thinking more about those simpler ways, not in pursuit of nostalgia, but for better living more in harmony with the planet. It sure seems like we have simple get-togethers with friends less often than did previous generations. Just a few decades ago Americans had less disposable income to eat at restaurants, or to pay for gas to travel out-of-town or even across town.
There was no Internet or three hundred cable TV channels to distract, either. For all of these reasons the simple joy of being at or close-to-home with friends was a bigger part of life, as people gathered for home meals, picnics, and with fellow members at fraternal organizations.The arrival of cheap gasoline and big highways enticed us to travel farther away rather than to stay local, and to add complication and haste to our lives. Instead of healthier food made fresh at home, we bought restaurant food often of lower quality.
High-speed travel, mass-produced food, and running around trying to do more and more in less time–all of this takes us away from a closer relationship with the Earth. Instead of seeking to go elsewhere, we can create pleasant spaces in our homes, yards, and neighborhoods, and come-together there rather than using more fossil fuels to travel to far-off places.
That’s what we did for my mother’s birthday. We had more time for good conversation and laughs because we weren’t driving way across town, and proximity to the garden brought its own benefits. We cut sprigs of mint from the front yard to scent our iced tea. I also picked fresh plums from my pair of trees and brought an overflowing bowl to the porch for all to share.
And we sat outside where we could enjoy the open air and the calming green of the garden. I’ve long noticed that if the surroundings are pleasant, we give much less notice to extremes of heat or cold that would otherwise bother us in lesser surroundings. That means we can get by with less need for supplemental heat or air conditioning.
The simpler way, and the better place to go for planetary and personal health, is close-to-home. It’s the front porch, out in the yard, and in the neighborhood park. Staying local with good friends may seem like living smaller. Clearly, though, connecting with our friends in a pleasant environment, enjoying good conversation, all the while using fewer natural resources—that really is living larger.
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Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
Strange! We recognize, and often cheer for the underdog. Witness the sports fan who can appreciate a come from behind “Hail Mary” in the last few seconds of a football game. Or, a game winning goal in the dying seconds of a hockey game. Or, an end run in a golf game by an unknown player to unseat a well-known player. Rocky. Etc. etc. We willingly pay the participants of these games millions of dollars for the feel good high that comes from watching someone defy the odds. Vicarious living at its pinnacle!
Even more Strange! Mother Earth is currently the biggest underdog we have ever seen, yet very few people are pulling for her. We appear to have an inability to recognize her as an underdog. Not only are we not pulling for her, we seemingly take pleasure in the circumstances that have led to her status as the biggest underdog in history. She has willingly and freely given us life, air, water, land, trees, food, animals, fish, etc, etc, without expectation. Need trees to build with, our plan, just clear cut a forest, and Mother Earth lets us. Need sea food, we cleverly design apparatus that will harvest an entire ocean until there is nothing left, and Mother Earth lets us. Oil, let’s suck every last drop out of the ground, again Mother Earth obliges us, etc. etc.
Beyond Strange! We say we are the most intelligent life on the Planet. A part of our intelligence gives us the ability to recognize. For example, we have the intelligence to recognize parasites, and what they do. Parasites will attach themselves to a host and feed until there is nothing left to feed on, a process that kills the host, and along with it the parasite that feeds on it. Apparently, in spite of our intelligence, we don’t have the good sense to recognize that as a species, we are demonstrating parasite like behavior. One might argue that a parasite feeds solely to survive, without consideration for their host. They don’t appear to have the intelligence to know that they are killing the very host they need to survive. What does it say about our species, a species that is aware our actions are killing our host, that we carry on feeding anyways? Makes a person wonder if we are anywhere near the most intelligent species on Earth?
Our fearless leader, Leslie Kolovich from the Sup Radio Show, has been struggling with her health recently, challenges with her heart. This past week she went through a surgical procedure that we are all hoping will send her down the road to health again. I watched an outpouring of love and caring for Leslie as she shared her experiences with us all in a very personal and public way. A phrase that came up time and again was “Take Care”. I am pretty sure we all mean it when we say “Take Care”. I am not sure if we truly take the time to consider what we are saying when we say it. It occurs to me that we sometimes say things out of social convention, rather than intentional purpose, kind of like a common greeting. Hey Ralph, long time no see, how you doing? Great to see you too Bob, pretty good, have to run now, great talking to you! Ok, take care. One can substitute any names you can think of, this is a conversation that happens a lot around the Globe.
“Take Care” is a phrase I do not take lightly. For me that phrase comes from a deep place. When I say “Take Care” I will do anything to help a person achieve the sentiment. For example, if a person takes the time to talk to me about their health, especially when there are challenges, together we will explore cause/effect and solutions. If a person is overweight, and they are wanting to take action to improve their health, my life experience allows me to offer options that might assist them in their journey. One thing I know for sure, is that in order to regain a healthy state, change will be required. Achieving that state of health will take action and effort, changing diet, starting exercise, etc. etc. Total lifestyle change is required to have success with a project of this magnitude. For my part in the “Taking Care” I feel a responsibility to offer whatever life experience, knowledge and support I have that might be helpful. I will offer unconditional support to a person who has the courage to take action and go through the changes that will transform them into something better. ‘Taking Care” is not a phrase to me, it is a process. The act of “Taking Care” is not limited to myself. “Taking Care” involves people, places, things and actions outside of myself. It involves recognizing the state of all life that I am fortunate enough to share this Planet with, and ensuring that health is an option for all life on the Planet.
Abuse of any kind is torture for me. Watching someone eat unhealthy food is torture for me. Watching Mother Earth take the abuse we heap on her is torture for me. The subject matter that passes for news in todays World is torture for me. Knowing that physical, mental, emotional, spiritual abuse is ongoing every day is torture for me. Poverty, homelessness and starvation is torture for me. Species extinction is torture for me. Etc. etc. We have a lot we could be “Taking Care of” in today’s World. I’m thinking that if we all “Take Care” today we can “Change the Way we live on the Planet”! From the depths of my Soul, will you “Take Care” today?…
Standing Up for the Planet by Bob Purdy
Who am I?
I am a “Two Legged”. I am part Caucasian. I am part African American. I am part Chinese. I am part Native American. I am part Japanese. I am part Eskimo. I am part East Indian. I am part Maori. I am part Hawaii’n. I am part Male. I am part Female. I am part Monkey. I am part Whale. I am part Salmon. I am part Eagle. I am part Bear. I am part Loon. I am part Gazelle. I am part Frog. I am part Dolphin. I am part Lion. I am part Snake. I am part Pelican. I am part Elephant. I am part Tree.
I am part Bullrush. I am part Flower. I am part Weed. I am part Seaweed. I am part Crab. I am part Shark. I am part Octopus. I am part Rock. I am part River.
I am part Ocean. I am part Lake. I am part Mountain. I am part Valley. I am part Asparagus. I am part Carrot. I am part Potato. I am part Broccoli. I am part Cricket. I am part Ant.
I am part Mosquito. I am part Bumble Bee. I am part Praying Mantis. I am part Spider. I am part Dr. Seuss. I am part Wicked Witch of the West. I am part Chaos. I am part Order. I am part Wild. I am part Tame. I am part Star Dust. I am part Dirt.
I am pure light and I am total darkness. I am everything, and I am nothing. I am not stuck in traffic, I am part of the traffic. I am the same, yet I am different…
In my World:
In my World “Mother Earth” is home. In my World everyone, and everything are my Relations. In my World our footprints are light and our footprints are invisible. In my World community is inclusive. In my World Life moves in time with Nature. In my World the Air is pure and fresh.
In my World the Sky is blue. In my World Water is clear and clean. In my World Land use is sustainable use. In my World there is compassion for all Life. In my World there are no borders. In my World there are no nations.
In my World there are no wars. In my World people live sustainably. In my World people are cooperative. In my World there is no place for poverty. In my World drugs are nonexistent. In my World there is no law, people know the right thing to do. In my world there are no weapons, there is nothing to protect. In my World differences are celebrated.
In my World no one is superior. In my World gratitude is practiced daily. In my World there is no theft, there is nothing to steal. In my World battlegrounds of old are now Playgrounds. In my World all people are fully alive and engaged. In my World I am a teeny, tiny part of a huge and intricate web of life. In my World, I am you and you are me…
My World is a work in progress…
Friday Morning with Leslie Kolovich
I am about to have a heart CT scan this morning, so I am working on breathing and relaxing my mind. I decided to record a mindfulness meditation called Awareness of Breath by Jon Kabat-Zinn. I wonder if this could be the first guided meditation done to folk music? So find a quiet place for 9.5 minutes and let yourself simply be. Peace, Love and Calm Heart~Leslie Kolovich
Enjoy the podcast now:
Music by Forest Williams