Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Climate Change Affects Everything!

Just over 60 years ago I was born in Anchorage, Alaska. My parents and I left when I was two, so I have no memory of my birthplace. Most of all I would like to see where I was born. I know it is a beautiful place on the Earth.

I would love to see moose walking through the streets of my birth city. If I could see the mountains my mother saw through her kitchen window, I would be thrilled. Even the bears are a sight I hope to see. It would be awesome to see the glaciers.

The thing is, I am not sure it will be there in the future. The glaciers are receding at an alarming rate. Polar bears and other Alaskan animal species are endangered. And as the temperatures rise, there is a cascading effect.

Time is running out.

I have repeatedly called my Representative and Senators. I am lucky they often share my own views. I have emailed the President. He is more aware and active about this issue than his predecessors, and still it isn't enough.

The American Native teachers have told me that we owe EVERYTHING to Mother Earth. The only thing we have to give back is the way we live our lives. To the native tribes of Turtle Island, the Earth is sacred ground, and we must honor and care for her.

If we love the Earth, we will do what is necessary, and do it now! The clock is ticking.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day

This is Blog Action Day - we are going to pay attention to what is going on in our environment, and notice that the climate is changing. In my corner of the world we had unprecedented eighty degree weather in mid-October!

I have read that organic gardening alone would be a big help in solving the climate crisis. Apparently producing chemicals for non-organic fertilizers has a major impact on climate.

Then there is guerilla gardening: the act of cultivating someone’s land without permission. It has been going on for several hundred years! The home page is at

Finally, a while back, I watched a video about urban gardening in Cuba. It was necessity that drove this movement, when Russia collapsed and no longer sent food and other supplies to Cuba. So the gardens are all organic - no chemicals were coming into the small island country. They are near the people who consume the food so transport has less impact than in the U.S. What a wonderful thing. I think we could learn from their necessities before food becomes quite so dire an issue here in the States.

Thus, pushed by the recession and the high price of quality food and gas to get to the stores, two friends and I planted an organic garden this spring. A wonderful woman gave us almost all the seeds we needed and wanted, saying this is her way of being the change she wants. She saves seeds. Someone in our agricultural surroundings gave us goat manure for free as well. I have done some gardening before this, but it was mostly flowers and herbs.

I remember my roots: My dad's family always had a garden (and Dad still does); and my mom's dad was a dairy farmer. In his day the way to keep the fields fertile was to rotate crops and put manure on the fields. Did you know that chemical fertilizer wasn't available until the World War I era? It was a new way to fix nitrogen, and it was developed for bombs. Michael Pollan talks about it in The Omnivore's Dilemma ( a wonderful book to read if your are interested in how we get our food these days).

Fortunately for me, I have an autoimmune disease that gets worse when I eat processed food, sugar and grains. When I realized the medical model would have me taking immune suppressant drugs, I decided to look at my food very carefully. Now I eat LOTS of vegetables, some fruit, some chicken and fish, occasional turkey, eggs, nuts and seeds. I do NOT eat corn syrup - high fructose or otherwise.

Having an organic garden felt like going back to my roots.

So I planted a variety of seeds: basil dill chives, cilantro, lettuce, wax beans zucchini, tomatoes, snow peas and lots of flowers. All summer long I ate greens of several kinds, wax beans, onions, zucchini, tomaotes, and, of course basil. Basil vinagrette, fresh pesto, and just basil in what I made - from soup to salad.

When I went to my garden to water, weed or glean for dinner, I felt at peace. What an amazing thing - to grow my own food! It really is empowering. If you haven't ever planted your own garden, do it now!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Magic in the Air

Brrr. . . .It's cold all of a sudden! I noticed the spider webs weeks ago, and then it got hot again, followed by rain and winds. Now it's just cold.

My garden isn't frozen - too early for that, thank heaven. However, nothing is growing except maybe the chard and kale. The tomatoes aren't ripening - I'll have to bring them indoors.

Usually I enjoy the autumn. This year is different, this year is a bit crazy and people are cranky: it's not just the economy, though that is a challenge sometimes. I believe it is the huge changes that are happening. It is the energy of it. We don't know what will happen, and many people have nothing to really trust!

I just turned sixty, and in the midst of all of the chaos in the world, had a wonderful party. There was magic in the air. Fortunately the rain stopped, and we had a sunny day, though a bit breezy and chilly. My birthday present to myself was to have a ceremony of stepping into maturity, with two friends who were also ready to take that step.

We held the ceremony in a friends large and secluded back yard. The first sign of magic was the three does hanging out peacefully at the top of the yard, just in front of the greenbelt. Three does side by side were enjoying the sunshine. They were in the yard for at least a half hour!

As we were getting started, a four-point buck wandered through, taking his time and munching, quite unconcerned about more than a dozen of us peering at him from the bottom of the yard.

The fire was magnificent, and as it was blossoming, the wind blew from all four directions - a wonderful sign from my viewpoint!

Later, when we were in the midst of the ceremony, a honeybee flew up beside me, hovered for a moment and flew away. Did I mention that one of my totem animals is the honeybee? One of the other women going through the ceremony had a visitor also.

The three of us - indeed everyone there - were filled to the brim with quiet joy.

Later I spoke with another woman I know. We agreed that we are well taken care of against all odds. She told me about burning her hand quite badly, and having her family do energy work on it. When they finished, the hand was pink but did not hurt.

Personally, I notice it when there is always enough money for me to pay the bills, buy groceries and repair my 1985 Honda.

In the midst of chaos, life goes on and magic and mystery thrive. I am so blessed!