Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Woodswoman::Woodsman - A Tribute & A Call

Two wonderful Earth-lovers and unabashed tree-huggers, one still in his youth, one in her elder years, departed from us within only a few days of one another at the end of June. There is both a tribute to make and a call to issue on their behalf.

Anne LaBastille's passing on July 1st at 75 may have come to your attention as this news was carried by media outlets all across New England including the NY Times, the on-line site Huffington Post, and by numerous others around the world as her lifelong environmental activism touched so many lives. My acquaintance with her came, as it did for many, through reading her first book, Woodswoman, in which she described her Thoreau-inspired life on a small lake in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Her empowering story bolstered countless numbers of young women to be bold in their lives, especially on behalf of ecological issues and preservation of the wild.  As Utica Observer-Dispatch columnist, Dave Dudajek put it, "Yes, there had been tough mountain women throughout history, but few managed to channel their passion for the wilderness into encouragement that empowered others."

I count myself as blessed that in the late 1970s I heard her speak about her life and passions, and still vividly recall her bright eyes and smile and the infectious energy she imparted that evening. My own environmental work was already well-grounded by then, but as still a young woman, she gave me yet more "fuel for the Fire."  The marvelous work that poured through her over these several decades is well-documented and can be easily found through an on-line search. Something of her visionary outlook was captured in an interview Dave Dudajek recalled.  She'd spoken of her 17 years as a commissioner of the Adirondack Park Agency this way, "I use two points of reference. I look back 100 years and try to envision what the park was like then. With that past in mind, I then try to look ahead 100 years and try to imagine what it might be like then. Will there still be clean air, the clean water, the loons, the osprey for the next generation to enjoy? Then I make my decision." 

Brett Armstrong was a young professional forester and logger, the youngest son of our neighbors, Marna and Keith. I remember the day they brought him home from the hospital to begin his life on their family farm. My kids and he were playmates all their growing up years just outside our small village of Unadilla Forks.

His choice of  the College of Environmental Science & Forestry at Syracuse University was in perfect keeping with his deep and passionate love of the outdoors. Following college he and his wife, Emily, built a beautiful log home and welcomed two children; their third child is due in September. After several years of working for others, Brett launched his own business, Back Forty Habitat and Timber Management. The name of his company speaks eloquently of his highly ethical approach to this work, striving to maintain a balance of harvesting trees while minimizing long-term impact on the woodlands in which he worked.

But it is a dangerous profession even with all safety measures followed, and on June 15th, Brett was tragically killed by a falling tree. Few deaths have shaken me more than his when word came. It still is and always will be impossible not to remember him as a sweet-faced little boy at play or the sun-tanned teenager driving their tractor past our house on a summer's day, giving me his jaunty wave.

While in a certain sense he was just getting started in life, he nonetheless touched so many. Over 575 people came to the calling hours in his small hometown. His obituary began "Brett Armstrong, lover of the woods and wildlife..." To prepare for the funeral, his minister, Pastor Betty, came to see the farm where he had grown up. His parents told me she walked the fields and went down along the Unadilla River that runs through the farm to get a clear sense of this place that Brett so loved. Weighted with the task of helping everyone through his funeral, this visit surely fortified her for this most daunting of days.

I was not able to attend the service, but my daughter spoke of how moving it was and of what Pastor Betty said of Brett's legacy. I offer this paraphrase: "Brett loved the land passionately each and every day of his life. This is what he passes on to us. It is up to us to carry on this legacy in our daily lives. To love the land, the fields, the woods, all of Nature, with this same passion."

So these two are no longer among us. For their loved ones it will a long period of mourning their absence. In addition to Pastor Betty's thoughts, those of Wendell Berry, the farmer-philosopher poet and Earth advocate, serve to clarify the call these two tremendous Earth stewards, Anne and Brett, send back to us. "The care of the Earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope." 

Thank you, Anne. Thank you, Brett. We hear you, and we will do our very best.

Monday, July 25, 2011

After Words: Guardian at the Gate

By this writing we are nearing the end of July and my spider-neighbor is still contentedly re-weaving her web each day. (She certainly appears content!) My reason to add a further note is from the lively response the post drew from people and nearly all who did so announcing themselves as admirers of spiders! Betty R. wrote of her own house-dwelling spider who occupied a hall corner for several months and also reminded me of the story of Arachne and Athena.*  My nature-loving neighbor, Dorothy J., described how she relocates spiders she finds in the house outside to the "fresh air" via a broom. Shea R. sent a lengthy note after seeing the blog through the Facebook link (ah yes, through the W.W. Web!), and avowed that my largish spider-neighbor is no doubt female, not male as I'd felt s/he might be. And I had to chuckle when I noticed that my present blog avatar photo is of a dew-spangled spider web I photographed many years ago on a foggy Maine coast morning. It was back in the days of our Canon SLR camera and my experiments with the close-up lens. The morning's cool ocean breeze with its salty tang drifts back to me still over all these years. Thanks to all who shared their thoughts and stories!

*here's a link to a nice retelling of the tale:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Guardian at the Gate

One morning not far into June, I opened the door here at Dragonfly Cottage to find a new resident moved in at the gate that's just a few feet from the front step. Click on the image to get a better look and hopefully you'll see the huge spider web spun during the previous night, cleverly anchored from the edge of the door's metal awning four feet above the fence. S/he chose the right-hand side of the gate, placing this shimmery insect-collector out of harm's way as to the human's coming and going. "Whoa!" I said aloud, stopping in my tracks to admire the engineering feat, marveling as I often do at the incredible diaphanous weaving swaying gently in the morning breeze. There was no sign of the Weaver, but several morning's in a row, I detected new reinforcing strands or repairs made to the previous day's wear and tear.

One evening I came home just after dusk had settled in, and as I came through the gate there silhouetted against the last light was the Weaver himself, (gender intuited) impressively large (not surprising given his web) and sitting (if spiders sit) in the exact middle of his beautiful creation. "Nice web!" I told him, "Good luck tonight." Not sure what he thought, but I felt it only courteous to speak, meeting up at last with what I'd begun to think of as the Guardian of the Gate.

I am charmed by my summer resident, honored really that such an impressive web-architect chose my front gate. It is now just past the 4th of July and my spider-neighbor is still very much "in residence".  Arachnophobic I am not, being one of those "types" who will gently remove spiders from the house by shooing then into a glass, capping it with a paper, then releasing said-spider outside in a more suitable (to my mind) habitat.

This is not my first long-term spider companion. Many summers ago, a smaller spider set up her home on the window ledge of my writing room. Her webs weren't the orb-sort but a lace mesh design that effectively got her what she needed. She was only two feet or so from where I sat to write, and I enjoyed watching her at her tasks, sometimes even at night busy with her spider-life. We communed now and then, since I know she was well aware of me on the other side of the glass, so close. I'd be away for a few days and when I returned was always happy to find her still there. It was a tumultuous summer for me, and more than once she was witness to a weeping woman and lots of muttered-aloud thoughts as I wrestled with the vicissitudes of my life. Calmly she carried on her spider-doings day in and day out.

The days shortened with Autumn's coming, and yes, there were two plump egg sacs carefully tucked in the upper corner. She still pursued her spider-life, a bit slower it seemed to me, and I spoke directly to her a time or two, knowing an end was approaching....I wanted her to know how much I'd come to enjoy her faithful company. Then a heavy frost, and I entered the room the next morning knowing what I'd find but dreaded to see. She lay curled up and unmoving. I thanked her a final time and moved her gently into the corner of the window casing. Some weeks later a cold breeze blew and the sill was at last completely empty except for the two egg sacs tightly secured for the future. I cannot recall the fate of those sacs....hopefully what she'd worked for all that summer happened exactly on schedule. But I remember her still, most fondly.

Not sure where this new spider-connection will go, but at the moment, he's showing himself a bit more often, in what I feel is a sense of trust. He's been witnessing my going-ins and coming-outs for a month so far, so our neighborliness is by now well-established. I've seen the sun's first rays shimmer through the dew drops in iridescent sparkles on the freshly-rewoven web, delighting me all over again at his artistry.

If there's one thing I know for certain, I am fortunate to be twice-blessed in this lifetime with such a fine journey-companion.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lingering in May's Bliss

I've had the singular privilege to travel well over a thousand miles this always special month of mid-Spring, mostly by car, with a memorable two days aboard a Greyhound bus that took me from Cleveland to Nashville and back again five days later. All along the way through the car's windshield and bus window I had a wonderful view of Spring's sweet urgency moving in its transformative magic over the landscape. Though I heartily enjoy the ongoing dance of all four seasons, it's this time of year I most treasure. Nature's ecstatic renewal and effervescent  energies make my body and spirit sing.

What marvelous delight as winter-tight buds of trees and shrubs burst into multi-hued shades of glimmering greens, gauzy golds, and the vibrant splash of the maples' tiny mahogany-red flowers. Tree-top veils of the most amazing pastel colors grace the hills. There's a moment every Spring, usually when I'm driving along a country road mesmerized by this jeweled glory, that Robert Frost's lines leap to mind: "Nature's first green is gold / her hardest hue to hold / her early leaf's a flower / but only so an hour" Many reading this know S.E. Hinton's novel The Outsiders (or have seen the movie), so now you are saying the final line, "Nothing gold can stay". And so often this is true with early Spring's subtle and lovely presence (presents!) quickly disappearing into Summer's warm days. Knowing this is so, I often wish to stand still and drink it all in for as long as I can.

Ah, but this year has proved an unlooked-for exception! April and May's seemingly endless cool and rainy weather brought a gift, even if we've groused about still needing our jackets too many days. The consequence of Spring's slowed pace has stretched this special time well-beyond its brief stay to nearly three weeks, a luxury of sight and scent that included the blooms of shad bush, wild cherry, and forsythia. And adding the perfect grace note to this lingering bliss, a Woods thrush arrived over a week ago in the woods here on my hill and has been offering up its enchanting flute-like song day after day.

Working on my summer tan can wait.......

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Singing for the Trees, Earth Day and Every Day

One of my very earliest memories is standing at the screen-door of my childhood home on a sunny summer's day and looking up up up into the branches of the huge old maple trees in our yard. Their leaves were dancing in a lively wind, and their wind-song coming down to me I heard echoed in the waves of the ocean years later.

I'm willing to bet that nearly everyone (more likely everyone!) reading this post has a favorite tree in her or his life, whether it's one from your childhood or presently...hopefully both! And I don't think I'm going out on a limb here <yes, deliberate pun!> to say that "your tree" is special to you for far more than just its sturdy presence and beauty, but for the personal connection you feel standing beside it, and also the sense it's very much enjoying your company too. When news looms of yet more concern over the clear-cutting of the world's forests, the devastation of the rain forests, patting the trunk of your Tree for reassurance, yours and the Tree's, is something I hope you do.

I'm composing this on the eve of Earth Day's 41st celebration. As a college student in 1970, I helped organize a marvelous community-wide Earth Day, and will always count this as one of my most memorable college experiences. Thank goodness for the consciousness-raising and so many other wonderful developments that have sprung from these 40 years of Earth Days.  Early this Spring I learned of a new and marvelous event that honors the Earth's trees, "Sing for the Trees", the creative inspiration of Susan Elizabeth Hale of Weaverville, North Carolina.

It's beautiful and delightful in its simplicity. Sometime between noon and 3 PM in your time zone, show up at your favorite tree(s) alone or with others who wish to join in on the fun, and share some time with that beautiful Tree-Being.  Susan encourages all of us to sing (or maybe tone a note) and offers this great list of reasons to do so...that singing to your tree(s):
* Helps create community
* Gives us a way to have a voice in saving what we love
* Is an offering of our life force and spirit
* Connects us to ancient traditions
* Nourishes trees by giving them carbon dioxide
* Is part of the joy of being human
* Helps us relax and tune into nature and to each other
* Reminds us we are part of the chorus of life

In 2010, 30,000 people in 39 countries and 30 states sang to trees. One person from Switzerland wrote to Susan, "Just letting you know, that since we sang and danced with the trees with the kindergarten children a few weeks ago, many of them are spontaneously doing this ritual every Thursday afternoon when we go back to the forest."
Such a marvelous outcome among many sent to her, but precisely how it works and what it might do shouldn't matter. Consider Chief Seattle's well-known words, that we two-leggeds are an integral part of the Web of Life, and that whatever we do affects this Web for good or ill. Tomorrow, all over the Earth, thousands and thousands of people will be putting forth songs for trees, and toning, and smiles, and lots of lingering tree-hugging.  I do think it then highly possible, that by nightfall in your time zone, you might well feel somehow uplifted.

This month's fast-pace has made this a last-minute post. I've been fretting that the delay would mean not many people would learn through me about "Sing for the Trees".  But as a tree's calendar is the slow turning of the Wheel of the Year, my favorite local tree whispered to me this morning, "All in good time!" And of course, there is no expiration date on this. On any given day, there's a tree who'd be so very pleased with your presence and your Song.

Here's a link to Susan's web site....an internet visit that I know you will enjoy:


(The photo at top is of some of my Tree Family here on Round Top Hill. They send their "best regards" for Earth Day!)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Raising the Roof on Sun Dog Farm - Part Two

As promised, here are a few more words and stories to round out this quite marvelous tale. A month of "good living" has taken place now under the green metal roof, and the residents, two people, two dogs, and two cats, seem in complete agreement that it's bordering on Bliss! (Next time I'm there I'll try getting them all to pose for a group photo) The four solar panels are ticking and gurgling beautifully right along, and the gorgeous "super" Full Moon of March 27th and 28th flooded the interior with its Lunar blessing.

[Actually the latest report is that a bluebird, newly returned from the South, showed up a few days ago not far from the front door...and it's my hunch that she or he arrived straight from "happiness-land"....trusting you know that expression :-) ]

Reviewing the list of stories mentioned in the previous post, what connects them is the remarkable satisfaction each gave me from such literal, hands-on work (or "feet-on" in the case of "stirring" the cob-mixture for the floor!).

When this ambitious project of Tracy and Justin's was launched, I knew I'd definitely enjoy being a part of it, but the incredible delight of helping "raise a house" far far exceeded my early estimation.

I wouldn't want to gloss over the frustration and exhaustion that presented themselves at times, especially as the hoped-for three-year time frame stretched into nearly five. Being an off-and-on helper made this element less onerous for me personally. As one of the Moms of the AARP work crew, my mother's heart swelled with pride time after time watching this slow but steady progress in the pursuit of our kids' ambitious dream to build this wonderful Earth-friendly dwelling. 

There are the practical reasons to have taken this all on such as lower heating costs and comparative ease of maintenance. But then there are other more "priceless" ones such as how beautiful a home this is in its simple but elegant design and light-filled interior. And for anyone who's had the opportunity to step inside a straw bale home, you will know what I mean when I say that you feel the palpable "aliveness" inside these amazing walls. "Earth-friendly" takes on a most vibrant meaning....

I know that all four of us parents, Children of the '60s "with flowers in our hair" (well, at least I put some in my hair!) set out in our young adulthoods to help make a difference in a pretty-battered world. Living lightly on the Earth was an early tenet taught to our children upon their arrival on the planet in the mid-'70s. Speaking then at least for myself, watching and helping Tracy and Justin's straw bale house grow from its dream-inception and emerge slowly from the earth at Sun Dog Farm, certainly has been watching a piece of my hopes and dreams blossom as well. 
Justin and Tracy, heartfelt congratulations, with much love from Mom/Carol. And sharing the message again from 98-years-young Dottie Carpenter, "May you have many years of wonderful happiness in your beautiful new Home."

Monday, March 21, 2011

...Trees Rise...

(a poem to welcome Spring)

Stars tangle in the night-black branches of the soft maple rising
impossibly high against the mellow night’s light-pricked ebony velvet—
Orion, leaping ahead of the winter-born Saggittarius, is now caught by early dark. In January’s bejeweled & frozen skies, the chase lasted until mid-night.

I sail off upon this star-current, trusting its familiar passage, following
night-flighted birds heading homeward…the Wheel lumbering us all along
with its gentle rounding-rhythm.

So we see the night through…
Birds alight to sleep…
I arise, summoned by quiet yet such insistent urgings…

Trees rise from mist-riddled bottom lands which resound and echo
with the calls of birds exulting
in the growing light & warmth of the year;
the Earth slowly spinning Her way into Spring.

We trust to growth, to life re-inventing itself…
to the oozing, leaf-mold muck yielding its verdant promises….sap-Rising.

I gather hands-full of Dawnlight spilling in through the living-room windows,
stirring and drawing up these hidden energy-currents,
hooking into this shifting, vital force
– tidal vibrance, as subtle, as constant as the waxing & waning of the Moon –
and as reliable,
despite the illusion of its silver crescent
to make us think the whole of its celestial body
has been consumed by a nameless darkness.

inspired by a journal entry
28th March, 1998
at Morningside

Friday, March 4, 2011

Raising the Roof on Sun Dog Farm - Part One

On a cloudy August morning in 2006, I stepped into the muddy trench dug around the rectangle of packed dirt, and helped my partner, Barb, set our first 50-pound block of our adult children's dream. We are half of the "AARP Crew" helping to lay the foundation blocks of my son, Justin, and daughter-in-law, Tracy's, straw bale house. The Crew is composed of their Baby Boomer parents, all of us eager to be a part of this eco-friendly, 21st century, house-raising. Ken and Chuck are the proud Dads.

Their desire to do as much of the construction with human labor (and much heart), to use natural and/or recycled materials, and have a good bit of fun along the way brought the AARP crew back day after day, year after year, and also dozens of friends coming for various house-building bees spread over four and a half years time. Living only a 30-mile drive away, Tracy's parents, Barb and Chuck, were devoted "day laborers" through all those many many months (and had the most fun as a result, I'm guessing).

On the day they at last moved in, February 20th, 2011, somewhat dazed as well as delighted that The Day had at last arrived, Justin stood with arms folded looking around at their home and observed that the whole thing was like birthing a child with all the attendant joys and anxieties. Oh, yes....

Attempting to choose a few favorite stories for one post is a tall order! An excellent set of photos and running commentary by Justin of the work through 2008 can be had by visiting this link: http://www.meadowmuse.com/sundog/index.html

Certainly five of the most exciting days were the days each of the five, two-story tall "bents" were raised and secured. Justin's caption for this photo reads: "A tractor, 48 hours, and eight people later, we got to this point. Mike said he was sure the Amish would have been chuckling. First time we stood this up, my only thought was: 'My god, this is tall'". Just before dusk on December 28th of that year, the last bent gently "thunked" into place, and as we did each time that happened, as one we threw up our arms and yelled our delight.

Other stories that come to mind: learning to hand-hew wooden pins, helping to unload half of the 80-pound straw bales one late summer day (my arms were jelly that night), pushing heavy wheel-barrow loads of plaster about, mixing the cob for the natural floor with my bare feet, and having my breath taken away each time I'd arrive and see what wonders had been accomplished since my last visit.

As the sense of the floor plan began to emerge, Barb and I would stand beside the future window seat and conjure up a picture of sitting there together with our first cup of tea. And, lo, that day arrived:

Do check back for more photos and descriptive tales and especially to see what this amazing house-of-straw looks like in February of 2011.

...to be continued!!...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sap Rising: In Praise of Egypt's Brave Protesters

After months of frigid winter weather, today's splendid sun and mid-50s warmth is bringing smiles to everyone here. Spring suddenly seems more than a distant vision. Maple syrup producers are squinting at the sun in delight, laying out the sap-lines and considering how soon they can tap the trees in the sugar bush.

A week ago we had one of the coldest mornings of the winter, -15F. at my home. By midday word had reached me of the triumph of the Egyptian protesters in Tahrir Square, and all afternoon I sat glued to the television, mesmerized by the scenes from Cairo of jubilant Egyptians celebrating the end of Hosni Mubarak's 30-year autocratic rule. Eighteen days of peaceful, persistent demonstrations by mostly youthful protesters had resulted in an outcome that some considered impossible at best, daunting at the least.

How this all has happened in such lightning speed is astounding and extraordinary. When I first began to hear reports from Tunisia of the Jasmine Revolution, I reflected on my own vivid memories of the anti-war and civil rights protests of the 1960s. Then too idealistic and brave young people put themselves on the line to push for change in the same doggedly determined, non-violent ways. And yes, though it took long years, we too achieved extraordinary change.

Fast-forward to the second decade of the 21st Century: marvelous technological resources (Facebook!)fuel these fires this time around. And it was a Facebook post last month of a YouTube video that assured me that this thirst for freedom would not be denied:

It is not without cost or further struggle. That we all know. The protesters surely know. But there simply is no denying this patient, persistent force at its wonderful work. No matter how dark or deep the cold of winter days, daylight slowly but steadily increases, the maples stir awake, and their sweet sap begins to rise. The Earth gently careens Her way towards the season of green-renewal.

This year, like no other I can recall, the fulfillment of this promise overflows with golden light.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Standing at the Cave Door

I was delightfully rewarded for rising early this winter's morning by the sight of the waning crescent Moon just a hand-span away from glittering Venus. Further to the East, pale light was already suffusing the sky at just past 6:30 am. It does lift my spirits to see the day stretching out at either end by nearly a half hour's-worth of daylight already, just a month past the Winter's Solstice.

Heaven knows, nearly the entire population of the East Coast needs this sort of encouragement that this rugged winter is not going to last forever (but then my birth-month, April, was called "the cruelest month" by the poet, T.S. Eliot  ::::shiver:::: )

With Christmas trees taken down and outdoor lights unstrung, January can take on a depressingly gray and somber cast. (Though here on my street, my neighbor and I are still firing up our modest "displays" each evening--his a white-spiral Christmas tree--mine a grape-vine wreath circled in multi-hued LED bulbs. Maybe we're in competition to see who will outlast who?!)  There's still so much dark, so much bitter cold to endure. Weeks and weeks....months of it. Character-building, some would say. Yankee-character has at least some of its roots in this long season.  I'd think of it that way in the years when teaching duties called which meant rising in the cold and dark, often with the driveway needing to be shoveled out before setting off on wintry roads, fingers crossed that I'd make it up Dye Hill without sliding into the ditch (Our school superintendent didn't much believe in snow days!) Ah yes, days like this were character-building indeed.

But somewhere not too far from where I sit typing, a black bear stirs in its den and blinks sleepily at the light growing outside. No rush yet, he knows, settling more comfortably before snoozing once again, snug in his winter retreat.

And in four days time arrives the ancient celebration of Imbolc, a day honoring the Celtic goddess Brigit or Bride, later Christian-ized as St. Bridget and the day called Candlemas Day. Regardless of which, Brigid the Light-Bearer overlights both celebrations. I regard myself on familiar terms with Brigid, "the bright arrow", fire goddess that she is. This year I've learned a new custom of honoring her, and so will be tying strips of white cloth on the bushes near the bird feeders, soliciting her blessings of abundance for the still-emerging year.

Doing a bit of research for Imbolc and its place in the Celtic calendar, this poetic description caught my writer's eye:

But  although this season was so cold and drear, 
small but sturdy signs of new life began to appear: 
Lambs were born and soft rain brought new grass. 
Ravens begin to build their nests 
and larks were said to sing with a clearer voice.  
The British Isles are a bit ahead of us, true, but even here seeds are stirring in the darkness. And the maple trees are feeling their root hairs ever so delicately starting to tingle.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Pushing Off from Shore

After what have been months of contemplation in starting this blog, I'm borrowing opening words from a man whose life journey has inspired me ever since his book, Anam Cara, dropped into my hands long ago in a Barnes & Noble aisle. Some will know the name without my writing it....John O'Donohue. This is how he begins his book:
"It is strange to be here.
The Mystery never leaves you alone."
Perhaps because of my Celtic roots, these words hold particular power. I certainly know that as long as I can remember, the powerful Mystery that O'Donohue names has intrigued and enchanted me, and with whatever Grace my life is blessed, may it always be so. Maybe, if not likely, my being Aries-born predisposes me to the delicious enjoyment of exploring this Mystery, to being drawn to embracing adventures that present themselves to me along the way....and by this decade of my life, my sixth, there have been a goodly number!
And at the top of the second page of Anam Cara, this: "Humans are new here. Above us, the galaxies dance out toward infinity. Under our feet is the ancient earth. We are beautifully molded from clay. Yet the smallest stone is millions of years older than us. In your thoughts, the silent universe seeks echo."
A most memorable moment in my young life was the first Moon-landing. The truly breath-taking photos of Earth taken by the astronauts showed us our beautiful Home, deep blue of the Oceans, white masses of clouds, red-brown of the continents, this "Big Blue Marble" floating against the backdrop of the black and starry heavens, carrying us along in its timeless journey around the Sun. And I a present passenger upon its exquisite, glimmering surface.
Through much of the journey of my life I have kept records of my days in many a diary and journal. Arriving at this time and place where marvels of technology allow such things, I've been nudged to share some of my musings and observations with the "wider World"....with you. Perhaps you'll care to respond with your own comments and notes of your own Earth pilgrimage and I encourage you if that comes to mind. We are all sharing a marvelous journey here on this beautiful Earth. I'll admit to a bit of trepidation as I click the right buttons to "publish", but all journeys and adventures begin with a first step. So now, on the count of 3, I'm pushing off from Shore.....3....2....1......!!!