I have a ritual that feeds my soul most every Friday. It begins with coffee with some peeps, then a drive to Cherry Creek State Park. There I get to watch and experience the very subtle changes that seasons and weather bring. I keep track of the huge variety of wildlife found right in the middle of the urban complex. Once a four point Mule deer walked right up to my parked car. Various birds of prey put on an aerial demonstration as they catch mice, snakes, rabbits and prairie dogs. I listen for the return of the Meadow Larks and Red Winged Black birds—their songs still thrill me. One of my favorite scenes recently was three coyotes hunting voles together in a big field. Bald Eagles and White Pelicans are often there. Yes, nature connects me with life and its source.
When I head home, I like to avoid the highways by working my way through town. Yesterday the flowering trees and tulips were putting on a show. As I was heading north on Logan St. I saw an entire gaggle of most likely, 2nd graders, with trash bags and gloves. They were not getting leftover Easter Eggs. Rather, they were picking up trash. Their bags were full and smiles were everywhere. It hit me—today is Earth Day. My dad was an ecological advocate before there was ever a day dedicated to the earth. He recycled because it was the right thing to do and I never remember him walking through a parking lot with out stopping to pick up somebody else’s trash.
Caring for creation is not political—it’s sanity. I had a friend in my Alamosa days who would talk about people who would “poop in their own nest”. One could say “Shoot themselves in the foot”—however you want to phrase it.
I will close with a gift from my brother Don. He entered a contest sponsored by the Department of the Interior and Baskin Robbins Ice Cream. Don was 11. The contest was simple—complete the phrase “This Land is Your Land________________________. His winning answer was, “Give it all you have got, it is all we have”. He took me as his chaperon/ guest on an all expenses paid trip, for a week to Washington DC. We had a most amazing time. Don’s life was a shooting star that ended at age 20 —that week still fills my heart with memories and hope.
Don was right—be kind to your Mother.
Onward and Upward Mark