photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa

Mother earning our respect

"All that we did,
All that we said or sang
Must come from contact with the soil..."

William Butler Yeats

Our Tsunami - Hurricane Katrina

The American Red Cross hotline to receive donations for this disaster that has hit the U.S. Gulf Coast is : 1-800-435-7669.

For Red Cross Louisiana shelter information, call: 1-800-469-4828.

Here are a few other relief organizations that very much need your donations in this emergency:

Episcopal Relief & Development

Catholic Charities

Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

"Hope, like the gleaming taper's light,
Adorns and cheers our way,
And still, as darker grows the night,
Emits a brighter ray."

Oliver Goldsmith, British-Irish author (1730-1774)

photo by Patty Ann Smith Posted by Picasa

A Peaceful Walk

"Meditation is absolute silence of the mind...
Only in that total, complete, unadulterated silence
is that which is truth." ~ J. Krishnamurti

"Peace comes within the souls of men
When they realize their oneness with the universe." ~ Black Elk

"In Remembrance" (photo by Craig Smith) Posted by Picasa

Spirits Gone

There they are
Lying in the ground somewhere
Bodies dead
Spirits gone
My mother first
Then my father and one of my brothers
And then another brother

My brother, Bob, died two years ago on this day.
I loved him dearly...
and I'd just like to mention that here today.

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa
"Peace and friendship with all mankind is our wisest policy, and I wish we may be permitted to pursuit it." ~ Thomas Jefferson

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa

Discover Your Life-Place

The following are inspired excerpts from an essay I read by Peter Berg, Director of Planet Drum Foundation and creator of "Discovering Your Life-Place"

Each person lives in a specific life-place that is an essential part of the planetary web of life. Whenever we become compatible with our local life systems in our own home place, we begin to maintain and restore life right where we live. And, this is a genuine and necessary remedy that will aid more wide-ranging cures such as decreasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere or reducing global warming.

Rebuilding a role for human beings in the natural flows of the place where they live will not be achieved by a grade at the end of a term. Results cannot be determined through evaluations such as examinations or tests. This goal can only be measured by the degree of an individual's involvement in the accomplishment of direct, practical results. This is a life-long journey and exploration of what a life-place means by learning to identify with and become part of a planetary biosphere. As much as we can grow in this direction as humans, we will be partners with the web of life and not the destroyers of it.

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa

A Test of Time

Groundbreaking books about the environment in the last century didn't lie. Rachel Carson's book "Silent Spring" didn't lie. Al Gore's book "Earth In The Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit" didn't lie. What's really amazing to me is that WE DIDN'T pay enough attention to them!

How could we so easily forget, so easily choose to ignore, something so important to our very existence as human beings.

Rachel Carson was "a courageous woman who took on the chemical industry and raised important questions about humankind's impact on nature". It is now well documented that the increase in cancer correlates with the increase of chemical pollutants that enter our water and food chains. Ms Carson was a renowned nature author and a marine biologist and was "happiest writing about the strength and resilience of natural systems" through which she expressed her awareness of the interconnnectedness of nature with all living things.

Al Gore's book on the environment offered "bold initiatives for change". And, although he warned of a worldwide crisis due to our seriously threatened climate, water, soil, and diversity of plant and animal life, he enthusiastically proposed that a radical rethinking of our relationship with nature (that was matched with action) ~ could still make change possible.

It is a FACT that the earth has been seriously jeopardized and damaged by environmental pollution. But, if we respected the earth and treated it sacred, we could ward off so many ills on this planet. If we strive for pure water, clean air, and safe food...we'd be heading in a good direction. War is a great destroyer of the earth. It is born of greed and conquest and creates catastrophic destruction of lives. There is nothing sacred about war. It only leads to neglect and abuse of all that really is sacred. We have been given a test of time. Let's not be too late.

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa

Trees Sing

"When the trees sing,
It doesn't really matter
If you know the song....
What really matters is knowing
That the trees are singing at all."

~ Mattie J.T. Stepanek, 13 (Poet, Peacemaker 1990-2004)

"The wonder is
we see these trees
and not wonder more."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Touch the ground of the present moment
and you will touch peace and joy."

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

photo by Craig Smith Posted by Picasa

Path That Leads To Nowhere

by Corrine Roosevelt Robinson (1861-1933)

There's a path that leads to nowhere
In a meadow that I know,
Where an indian river rises
And the stream is still and slow;
There it wanders under willows
And beneath the silvery moon
Of the birches silent shadows
Where the early violets bloom.

Other pathways lead to somewhere,
But the one I love so well
Had no end and no beginning,
Just the beauty of the dell;
There I find my fair oasis,
And with carefree feet I tread,
For the pathway leads to nowhere
And the blue is overhead!

All the ways that lead to somewhere
Echo with the hurrying feet
Of the struggling and the striving,
But the way I find so sweet
Bids me dream and bids me linger,
Joy and Beauty are its goal;
On the path that leads to nowhere
I have sometimes found my soul!