Today began as every day this summer has begun, with milking my daughter's cow. Except, this being Sunday, I rose a bit later than on week-days, and turned on "Speaking Of Faith" to hear the voice of my sometime neighbor, Bill McKibben. This caused me to delay the schedule of the cow a bit longer, as I was keenly interested in what Bill had to say. I have lived in our town somewhat longer than Bill; indeed, I have lived on earth somewhat longer than he, and each time I hear him speak, I realize how important it is for him to convey his message. But, too, so much of what he says I already knew. My family has lived in this little town for generations, and I grew up wandering the roadsides, meadows and woods, in constant wonder and delight at the natural world. I have Never been as fortunate economically as the students and young activists that rally to the cause of dealing with climate change as a new challenge. I am fortunate that local food, community, and conservation were part of normal life for me. I was obligated to weed the garden, shell the peas, go "down home" to my grandfather's to walk back up the hill with milk and eggs. "use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" was a household standard. It saddens me that even here, in this little hill town, many children do not appreciate where their food comes from, the school garden notwithstanding. But we do make an effort here. we are out-maneuvered by TV and other media, as well as politicians and government officials, who seem bent on convincing us that we must return to overconsumption, preferably at Walmart, to "save the economy." But I am heartened as I walk out my back door with bucket in hand, greeted by the heady fragrance of white lillies that were a gift from a pre-schooler years ago. Tillie the patient Jersey moos softly to her calf, who will finish the milking when I have taken what I need for myself, and perhaps a couple of neighbors . Later, I will walk down the road to those neighbors, finding joy in the roadside beauty as I always have.
More information about text formats