Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hopeful thoughts

Oh, my, where does the time go? I just returned from a short stay in Tuolumne Meadows at Yosemite. What a great weekend I had - 3 nights and 2 full days in the Sierra high country, plus traveling each way. I went alone, which was an adventure in itself. And I met many wonderful people there. At least two hopeful thoughts emerged from this experience.

First, it was very encouraging to see so many families: young families with small children, multi-generational groups, and several father-son pairs who were enjoying long back-packing trips together. One cynical man said he would not be able to stand being with his family for anywhere near that long. But the overwhelming impression I got from most people was about the strength of these family relationships. The future looks a little brighter if families stick together and find ways to play and appreciate each other.

My other hopeful thought was about the resiliency of nature and also our own. I can get very frustrated about what seems to be lack of insight and concern when it comes to this planet. We are using up resources way faster than they can be replenished. But out there in the wilderness, I could see evidence of nature's cycle of growth, depletion, and renewal. I was reminded that this planet is fully capable of supporting life. Our own stay here is very short. The earth has been here for a long, long time. It will go on far beyond today.

This doesn't mean we have permission to throw our hands up and just say "oh, well, what can I do?" We can do our small part, and we can teach our children to do the same. In fact, sometimes the children teach us. At least part of our own resilience is recognized in our capacity for growth. We are never to old to learn something new. I have returned from my time away with renewed enthusiasm and openness to this world of possibilities.

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