The horse's pasture to the East...

Thursday, January 26, 2017


This is it. This is my world. I live on a carefully protected bit of land. These hills and the forrest hiding on them are the furthest western edge of the eastern forrest. Right here is where the prairies met the trees. The only reason it still exists is because of generations of people who've stepped up to protect it. 

Except for the two barns and small houses, there is no development. There are circles of trees that were tiny suckers that came up when the old growth was cut, to build a railroad that stretched from coast to coast. And, somehow, some of the old growth trees were saved. When I go out on to the land to hike, I still find rusting tools that were left behind. I always pack them back in too. 

It isn't glitzy. There are no gold curlicues or gold curtains. It's rough, as pristine as we can keep it. Some of the wildlife living here is rare, especially some of the frogs and toads. Every year is an unknown bonanza because it's Nature that decides what will bloom. There are species of forrest edge wild flowers living here that are only found in cultivated gardens now. And they are the smaller varieties too, hiding behind and under leaves and downed trees. The ground is a deep cushion of silt, soil and decaying leaves that smells so good I'm tempted to eat it. It's full of tiny organisms. It teams with life.

There isn't a day, when I walk out my front door, where I'm not in awe of the delicate, perfect beauty I find here. I've seen butterflies and moths I've never seen anywhere else. The fields are half in flight because of the vast numbers of insects and birds that live connected to the grasses and wildflowers. I've lost track of the artists I've invited out to wallow in the luxury of the landscape. 

And it's quiet. Except early in the morning, when folks are driving up the road to get to work or out to their fields, there are no other sounds except the wind in the trees, birds singing, insects humming. My soul rests here. It's the place I wanted to be when John and I took all of those vacations with our sons at the National Parks. Only it's right here, just outside my doors and windows. We live in a hidden glen. Not many people get to say that.

Every detail is perfect because there is balance. And every moment is fleeting because it is constantly growing, blooming, seeding, decaying and growing in to a new cycle again, exactly the way it is meant to. It's a never ending symphony of color and music, rain and sun, winter and summer. 

"All you have to do is listen!"

I promised myself I was going to stay away from politics. This past election cycle was horrible. It kept me up at night. And it seems the nightmares are coming true. This was what I found on my Facebook Feed this morning.

From an EPA staffer: SPREAD The Word PLEASE!!!!
"So I work at the EPA and yeah it's as bad as you are hearing:
The entire agency is under lockdown, the website, facebook, twitter, you name it is static and can't be updated.
All reports, findings, permits and studies are frozen and not to be released. No presentations or meetings with outside groups are to be scheduled.
Any Press contacting us are to be directed to the Press Office which is also silenced and will give no response.
All grants and contracts are frozen from the contractors working on Superfund sites to grad school students working on their thesis.
We are still doing our work, writing reports, doing cancer modeling for pesticides hoping that this is temporary and we will be able to serve the public soon.
But many of us are worried about an ideologically-fueled purging and if you use any federal data I advise you gather what you can now.
We have been told the website is being reworked to reflect the new administration's policy.
Feel free to copy and paste, you all pay for the government and you should know what's going on. I am posting this as a fellow citizen and not in any sort of official capacity."
If you share, please do so with copy and paste."

I did not edit the content of this message. I picked it up as a 'copy and paste'. I have decided there are some things worth breaking my own rules for. I am not going to be quiet.

In 1970, in response to the welter of confusing, often ineffective environmental protection laws enacted by states and communities, President Richard Nixon created the EPA to fix national guidelines and to monitor and enforce them. Functions of three federal departments—of the Interior, of Agriculture, and of Health, Education, and Welfare—and of other federal bodies were transferred to the new agency. The EPA was initially charged with the administration of the Clean Air Act (1970), enacted to abate air pollution primarily from industries and motor vehicles; the Federal Environmental Pesticide Control Act (1972); and the Clean Water Act (1972), regulating municipal and industrial wastewater discharges and offering grants for building sewage-treatment facilities. By the mid-1990s the EPA was enforcing 12 major statutes, including laws designed to control uranium mill tailings; ocean dumping; safe drinking water; insecticidesfungicides, and rodenticides; and asbestos hazards in schools.  ( From the Encyclopedia Britannica )

When I was a girl, I remember going to the beach in Maine in the Summer. My Mom made it very clear that only certain sections of the beach were safe to play on. And I couldn't swim either, not because the water was cold or the tides were dangerous, but because it was polluted. My Mom was an Analytical Chemist by profession. She walked me down to the area of the beach she wanted me to stay away from and showed me a stream of smelly, orange colored filth flowing in to the ocean from a pipe . It was the effluent from factories in the area, piped there through underground aqueducts. 

She stood there and told me, based on color and smell, what was probably in the four foot wide stream. All of it was dangerous and noxious. We didn't go back to the beach after that day. She took my brother's hand and mine, marched us back to the car and then went back to get the umbrellas, chairs and picnic basket. We went home to have a picnic in Nana's back yard instead. That's what the USA was like before there were controls on industry. And that is where we are going to go back to if Mr. Orange has his way.

We've spent a lot of time discussing politics this past year. We don't watch TV or even listen to the radio except for music. Both of us love our quiet and, after 47 years, we treasure our time together, our debates and conversations. The art of storytelling, research and debate, discussion and discourse still lives in our home. 

I told John that I loath war and violence. I would rather listen and learn from people and other cultures. I love diversity. But I also told him that I wasn't a fool. If the unidentified "they" come up my drive, I will fight. It never occurred to me that it might be my own country that brought the fight to me. 

I am one small voice, living in a hidden glen. If that's all I have then I plan to use it. I apologize to the folks who come here to read my stories but I'm a 'do the best that I can with what I have' kind of person. I will have my say. I am choosing to openly and actively question authority.

Above is the address on line for finding the contact information for any representative or senator presently working for Congress in Washington DC. I hope you'll use it to find the people you want to express your opinions to. USE YOUR VOICE. Make a noise. QUESTION AUTHORITY. RESIST.

I am, ever yours, Nancy, standing here with my dukes up, feet set and fangs bared, smiling...

1 comment:

Anna Mae Gold said...

"I am one small voice, living in a hidden glen. If that's all I have then I plan to use it."

Thank you.