Archive for June, 2014

Make Three Calls for Our Climate

Tuesday, June 24th, 2014

Many people understand the peril we face as a result of our warming world.  But I find that many of these people feel helpless and believe there is nothing they can do to solve the problem.

Fortunately, there is no cause for such helplessness.  There is a great deal that all of us can do, that we must do if we want to leave our children and grandchildren a world where they can lead healthy lives.

In a future posting, I will share some of what Al Gore just wrote in The Rolling Stone.  He is optimistic that we can solve our climate crisis, and he persuaded me to be more hopeful as well.

And today–or anytime this week–you can do something to help persuade Congress to take meaningful action to address climate change.   Your action can be completed in a mere 10 minutes.

Here’s what to do:

Make three phone calls––one to your Member of Congress and one each to your two Senators.  By calling this week, you will augment the efforts of thousands of climate activists from all over the country, who are in Washington right now, visiting the offices of all 100  Senators and all 435 Representatives.  These citizen lobbyists are urging Congress to enact a tax on carbon that returns revenue to the public.

It is very important that we all add our voices to those citizen lobbyists now gathered on Capitol Hill.  After all, the fossil fuels industry has hired thousands of lobbyists to pressure Congress to act on behalf of their short term monetary gain at the expense of the public and the planet.  Even though our democracy has been diminished in recent years as a result of gross increases of money in politics, our Members of Congress will do what the people want if they think hanging onto their seat may be at stake.  That’s why we must make sure they hear from large numbers of us.

So please call 202-224-3121, the Capitol switchboard.  Ask to be connected to the office of Senator X or Congressman Y.  Once you reach the office you requested, you can leave your message on a tape or ask to speak to the aide who deals with climate issues.  I try to choose the latter option to increase my chances of speaking with an actual person.  If, in fact, you do leave a message on a machine, be sure to include your name and phone number.  This will assure office staffer that you are, in fact, a constituent.  And feel free to express your passion;  you don’t need to be an expert.  After all, you wield the vote.  

And thanks for acting.–April Moore

 

If You Love Something–or Someone–Enough

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

George Washington Carver

I love these words, said long ago by George Washington Carver:

“Anything will give up its secrets if you love it enough. Not only have I found that when I talk to the little flower or to the little peanut they will give up their secrets, but I have found that when I silently commune with people they give up their secrets also – if you love them enough.”

I find wisdom in Carver’s words, and they have stayed with me since I first heard them years ago.  I imagine the brilliant botanist lovingly  observing a plant, monitoring its changes day by day, season by season, noticing so many things that would be missed in a single, brief look.  And I appreciate his silently communing with humans too, learning about them through quiet and loving observation. 

Dr. Carver’s words remind me of my own approach to the natural world and, more recently, to humans.  While I’ve always loved ‘being in nature,’ I actually used to notice very little.  Yes, I enjoyed striding along trails through forest, meadow, and desert.  But it was only when I started taking the time to pause and really look, that I began to see.   Wow.  So many fascinating details, so much movement and change, so much life being lived all around me.  

By sitting and looking, and looking some more, I found that I saw so much that I would otherwise have missed–a chickadee emerging from a tree cavity, or a box turtle, motionless and partly obscured by dead leaves, or the tiny shoots at the base of a tree, amazingly encased in turkey tail fungus.   

As I began to notice so much more, I found myself thinking with amazement, “the more I look, the more I see!”  I realized how obvious that sounds.  Of course I see more if I look more.  But until I started making regular forays into the woods solely for the purpose of noticing, I had not fully experienced that simple truth.

I have come to believe that taking the time to pay attention to the life around me is my version of what Dr. Carver said.  Taking time to notice the plant and animal life around me makes me happy.  And I feel gratitude and love for the life forms with whom I share the planet.  As I look more and see more, plants and animals are indeed yielding their secrets to me.

And the same applies to humans.  In recent years, I have been lovingly observing strangers.  While pumping gas, waiting in line in a store, or passing another car on the interstate, I often choose a person and silently send him or her wishes for happiness and well-being.  I may not learn a lot about a person in this way, but I feel lovingly connected.

George Washington Carver spoke the truth.–April Moore  

 

The Magnificent Catalpa Tree

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

 

photo by Gary Fewless

I am happy to repost here a piece my friend Elizabeth Cottrell wrote recently about a majestic catalpa tree she has been getting to know.  I too have been interested in this tree with its giant leaves and foot-long seed pods.  In her light, informative article, complete with photos, Elizabeth has helped me to feel that I too now know this large, graceful tree better.

I invite you to read Elizabeth’s piece at her website, Heartspoken, by clicking here: The Lovely Catalpa Tree
 April Moore

 

Over the Hill She Came

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

Here is a lovely poem by one of my favorite poets.

OVER THE HILL SHE CAME
by Mary Oliver

Over the hill she came, her long legs very scarcely

touching the ground, the cups of her ears listening, with obvious pleasure,

to the wind as it stroked the dark arms of the pines;

once or twice she lingered and browsed some moist patch

of half-wrapped leaves, then came along to where I was-or nearly-

and then, among the thousand bodies of the trees, their splashes of light and their shadows, she was gone;

and I, who was heavy that day with thoughts as small as my whole life would ever be, and especially

compared to the thousand shining trees, gave thanks to whatever sent her in my direction that I might see, and strive to be,

as clearly she was, beyond sorrow, soft-lipped angel walking on air.

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