Friday, April 22, 2011

It's All About The Money... Thoughts On Earth Day 2011

How much money would you sell out for? How much money would it take to induce you to sell the gas rights under your home, knowing that the process of extracting the shale gas will probably pollute your well water with poisons, render it undrinkable and contaminate it with toxins for 1000 years? The surface would smell of methane leaking through cracks in the ground. No bank would grant a mortgage for you to sell your land with a gas well on it. But my question is, how much money would it take for you to agree to allow a gas company to move onto your land, knowing that this will happen?

The Earth is a living entity, not just rocks and dirt. It is alive. It suffers just like we do when it is tortured by uncaring, greedy, rapists who seek to suck out the riches in exchange for killing life on the surface. Does that sound a little too over dramatic to you? Many people are eager to trade their piece of Mother Earth for money. They will readily agree to make a quick buck in exchange for the ultimate destruction of their property. That tells me that they care less about the Earth than they care about the almighty dollar.

How fickle are we careless with our covenants? We do not own the Earth any more than we can own the air or the sky or the planets. We are trustees, stewards. We have the fiduciary responsibility to pass this Earth on to future generations in a condition that will allow them to live here, grow their food here, and draw clean water here. Anything less is a crime against nature and God.

On this Earth Day, 2011, I pray that we come to our senses before we have traded away the mostly precious gift with which we have been entrusted, for a handful of beads. God gave us a gift of 86,400 seconds this Earth Day. Have you used one to say 'thank you' for the beauty and sustenance of Mother Earth?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It's A Dog's Life. . .

Readers will know that Mimi is a black Standard Poodle who is the BFF of our white German Shepherd Moses. They will also know that Mimi spends more than a little time at our place throughout the year. She has been here with us to share blizzards, heat waves, wild thunderstorms in the night, dog days in August, spring flowers blooming and harvest moons. She often spends several idyllic weeks in a row with us. Other times she may only stop by for an afternoon hike and some dinner.

Mimi and Mo share the same schedule. They eat the same food and divvy up the two dog beds that are a permanent fixture in our bedroom. They each have a couch in our living room and they know exactly which couch is theirs. They nap together, bark together at the mail-lady, run and play and chase the barn cats together, enjoy the lake together. And like a long-married couple, even their er.. um.. bathroom habits coincide…

In our house, we cannot casually utter the ‘Mimi’ word. If her name accidentally crosses our lips, Moses immediately takes up his station at the lookout window and will wait the entire day for Mimi’s expected visit. The same is true at Mimi’s house. Mo’s name cannot be casually spoken unless a visit is in the immediate offing.
Of course, the highlights of their days here on the farm are rambling hikes that take us across hills, woods, fields and streams. Oh, the wondrous smells and sights this land contains for two high-energy canines as they race ahead to explore the many mud puddles, stands of burr-filled brush and miles of rabbit and deer trails on our daily expeditions!

The terrain is ever changing. The crops grow tall and conceal wildlife for dogs whose natural born inclination it is to flush and chase. Toward the end of their nose-to-dirt, zigzagging runs, we arrive at the lake, its cool, pure water so refreshing to drink and stand in, belly deep… perhaps even a swim is in order today. Who says that being treated like a dog is a bad thing?

Mimi and Moses would like to remind all humans that it is unlawful in Pennsylvania for owners or keepers of any dog to house the dog for any period of time in a drum, barrel, refrigerator or freezer regardless of the material of which the drum, barrel, refrigerator or freezer is constructed. Also, it shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog to fail to keep the dog confined within the premises of the owner, firmly secured by means of a collar and chain or other device so that it cannot stray beyond the premises on which it is secured or under the reasonable control of some person, or when engaged in lawful hunting, exhibition, performance events or field training.