Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog Action Day - Oct. 15, 2007

"What would happen if every blog published posts discussing the same issue, on the same day? One issue. One day. Thousands of voices. "

On October 15th - Blog Action Day, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind. In its inaugural year, Blog Action Day will be co-ordinating bloggers to tackle the issue of the environment. Blog Action Day is and will ever be, simply a vehicle for bloggers to work together to create a better world. The Organizers of Blog Action Day were inspired by one member's Baha'i belief's in the unity of humanity.

I am inspired by their willingness to try to mobilize the thousands of blogs and millions of readers. Stir the proverbial pot - it causes change.

I spent the first 18 years of my life growing up on this farm in North Central Washington. My father was tethered to the environment in a way that most fathers these days don't understand - he was a farmer. Everything he did on a day to day basis depended upon, effected, relyed upon - the land.

My grandparents homesteaded this land in 1907 - for one hundred years a Thomsen has owned this property. Even though I have not lived there since 1970, the "ranch" as we call it, is still "home" - to this day, the smell of sage brings back memories of warm summer days - the sagebrush and the grasses heated thru by the sun - the acrid smell permeating the air.

As children, my sister and I roamed these fields and hills - the butte in the farground we called "The Cliffs"

"Mom, we're going up on the cliff" - we'd call out - and be gone for hours - walking, wandering, looking for wildflowers in the spring, picking through the piles of stuff and junk (in those days there were no landfills - you made your own) to see if we could find any "treasures" to take home for our play house - old plates, maybe a chipped cup or a bent spoon. Maybe that is where my younger sister developed her love for antiques...

If you look closely at this picture (it won't biggify because I cropped the original - oh, well) - you will see the rows and rows of electrical towers that march through the landscape - I think their journey either starts at Chief Joseph Dam in Bridgeport or maybe at Grand Coulee. I used to think they looked like iron maidens, marching through our fields. What would the aliens think when they landed on our plateau? Would they think these were the inhabitants - chained together with wire - marching off to some unknown place?

Hundreds of thousands of years ago, the glaciers pushed their way down into the area now owned by my sisters and I. When the glaciers melted, (dare I ask - was that caused by the last episode of global warming?) they did the biggest environmental litter-bug job in the world - they dropped all these big rocks - right where they stopped - in our front yard, and our back yard, you get the picture.

But, from atop those rocks, you can see for miles and miles (- clear to the edge of the world, I used to think - it's amazing the things we think when we are children)

The "environment" is so much more than a cause - it determines how one looks at the world - and how the world looks at us.

Sometimes, it is discouraging. We do what we can, recycle this or that - only to learn that sometimes "it" ends up in a landfill anyhow. We change the type of lightbulb we buy, only to learn that the new types of compact flourescent bulbs contain mercury and require special handling to dispose of.

I'll just say that all in all, it's a beautiful world. I am hugely excited about getting to finally see the Grand Canyon and grateful that it was preserved as a National Park, and not allowed to be filled in like one giant landfill - (I'm sure there are those who would have tried )

So, I challenge you - get involved - add your voice to the thousands - let me know what YOU think.


Kathy L. said...

The colors in the Canyon will astound you, Tina...and it all depends on the light and time of day. I think you and John will love watching the sun setting and the colors of evening. I can hardly wait...just don't look for dust as you may find some! Ha, ha!

Avery Gray said...

You were so lucky to have grown up in such a beautiful place. I live in Southwestern Washington, and all I can say is that it's breathtaking. But it won't always be that way if we don't take action to preserve it. That's why I'm participating in Blog Action Day, too. Because I want my son to be able to experience the beauty of the area like I have all my life.

Happy Blog Action Day!

Quail Hill Knits said...

Beautiful photos of the family homestead --- my father is also a farmer now that he is retired and I have come to appreciate the environment more than ever.