Tuesday, July 18, 2017


Sequoia National Park

      Being in the presence of an ancient can do a lot to widen your view. Beholding a 2-3 thousand year old tree puts a perspective on human endeavors and foibles.
 Audubon Society Sweet Springs Nature Preserve Los Osos Ca.
    Even a less august eucalyptus grove displays endurance,  the contortions, changes and adjustments demanded of life. 
     Are humans any less subject?
 Sweet Springs Preserve
    And we are grateful for green spaces, preserves, national and state parks where that which is older is paid respect. And where we can rest, focus and gain clarity.

    Do you think we'd see a different behavior if House and Senate members did a nature centered retreat-a kind of outward bound recess? I like to think that a thread of decency would appear even in the contemptible Mitch McConnell.
    He's even more of a "gloomy Gus" these days, a weakened and failed leader who has presided over a colossal failure and collapse of majority politics. 

    It is good for all of us the mean spirited and punitive Republican Health Care plan seems to be dying. Surprising that a party that controls everything-White House, Senate, House and that has been shrilly condemning the Affordable Health Care Act for 6 years, can't govern, can't legislate and has no vision for America and can't do what they said they would do "on day 1." It is a disastrous administration and nations see us as weaker and unreliable.

    So maybe a couple of weeks of hiking and camping in Yosemite, or the Bridger Teton Wilderness or in Denali could do our Senators and Representatives a world of good, and us too.
    I wish we could get our bloated, sexual predator and lying tweeter in chief into the wilds. Oh boy, could you imagine? But that would probably result in a blown body part and would sadly end the camp out.

    Being in nature however clarifies an undeniable truth. Behind our politics, regardless of stripe or affiliation is an assumption about the power of human life and its durability. We move through our days owning an attitude of perpetuity. It ain't so!
    We are merely passing through. The best we can hope for is 7-9 decades. We are all amazed at how quickly it passes. 
    So why do we behave the way we do? We damage, scar, despoil, deplete our planet. And we brutalize, terrorize, destroy and kill, including each other. And for what ends?

     The health care plan is a case in point. Since all of us, even the most healthy, have limited days how can we be punitive or restrictive? 
      Providing health care to everyone is right. Arguing "there have always been the poor," or the fact that some can't afford coverage is "just the price of modern life" or "the way it is," is wrong.  Politics that enshrine those attitudes are mean and venal.
     Health care should not be a political doctrine, it is a matter of health, and if it is not a right, then it is our responsibility to each other. There is also the deep and complicated topic of the role of "profit" in the practice of health and healing. 
     I am one of those who believe our higher aspirations and greater good is to be just and merciful. Any thing else is delusional bull shit, the sort of which that leads humanity to our inhumane treatment of each other and our only planet.

     See you down the trail. 



  1. I read an article in the NYT today about fossil hunting in North Dakota where remains of the last dinosaurs have been found . . from 60 to 70 million years ago. Think about that.

    1. And that pushes our minds too. Do you think there was a specie of human co-existing with the those creatures.

  2. Where is that picture of Morro rock taken? I've thought I'd taken every road around there.
    As to the know where I stand.

    1. The Audubon Sweet Springs Preserve is in Los Osos, in the back bay area.
      It's on the back side of the spit. Nice little walking trail and observation deck as well.

  3. Wow. It's impossible to think in those sorts of terms when it comes to time. Even 2,000 years is impossible to imagine, really - and there is not much left, manmade or otherwise - that has stood the test of that sort of time.

    When you start thinking in terms of millions of years, there's no way to wrap your head around it. Deep time is as strange as the distances involved in our universe.

    OK. Back to the petty temporal stuff now...

  4. Harry-
    Don't you think we are so caught up in the temporal because we are so busy living in the now, we don't have time to ponder or consider the "bigger" picture and larger clock? A little down time in nature gives us a chance to think bigger and longer.

  5. I always feel intensely spiritual when in the presence of Giant Sequoia, much more than what I feel in a church.

  6. As John Muir said, it is like being a cathedral. They are a powerful presence.