14 August 2016

Get Outside!

Perseid shooting star

Get outside. Whether it's midwinter or the middle of summer holidays where you live, get outside!

Spending time outdoors is vitally worthwhile because it will remind you that:

• you're infinitesimally insignificant in the universal scheme of things -- and therefore so are your woes and your worries

• you're alive! and therefore, even though you and your problems are like one grain of sand on a never-ending stretch of beach, you've been given a gift that you share with every other living thing on this whole precious planet

• if we don't %$#@ it up with our blinkin' greenhouse gas emissions and black carbon (soot), the Earth will continue to provide us with everything we need
Last night, several of my students and their families and I spread out our blankets and sleeping bags and giggled and snacked well into the night, oohing and aahing as the Perseid meteor showers performed their fireworks. 

The last to leave, I was overcome by a sense of well being. The Milky Way suddenly became a colossal eagle in flight, its wings spread open to envelope me. The Big Dipper, having swung through the sky as the evening wore on, now was dripping honey and nectar on me. Certainly, the mosquitoes reassured me that I was not alone in the world. ("Okay, guys. Guys, really, you can go to bed now." But no, they stayed up to watch the sky show as well. Right next to my left ear. Friendly little fellas.) 

(p.s. The Perseids continue until August 26, 2016 and come every August.)

I remember writing longing poetry long ago as a teenager about the difference between being alone and feeling lonely. Last night, as the whole night sky kept me company after my gaggle of students went home to their comfy beds, I didn't feel alone or lonely. 

I am part of the Great Story of Life unfolding, and even though I am but an extra playing a bit part, I am playing my part with joy, with love, and with care and compassion in my heart for all the children ... of all species ... for all time. (Thank you, Bill McDonough.)

Get outside, folks. Soak in some of the gifts freely given by this precious planet of ours. And then send out your heartfelt thanks and appreciation.


This post is dedicated to a dear young friend who, despite an agonizingly sad medical diagnosis and uncertain prognosis delivered this week, has cheerfully told us all, "It's not how long you live that counts, it's how joyfully you live the time you've got." Thank you, special angel, thank you. Love you!

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?