Thursday, November 11, 2010

Green Shoots

A storm blew through the area a week ago Tuesday. As with many storms it gathered energy from the south and midwest as it tracked toward the northeast, then packed a wallop on New Hampshire. There was lots of fury and noise with this storm and there was a lot of devastation in its wake -- at least for some. But no one was immediately hurt, no houses flooded, no animals died, no trees were uprooted. For this was a political storm.

Democrats might describe it as a category 5 hurricane. Those who rode in on the storm's fierce winds would describe it otherwise; they see clear skies ahead.

As with many severe storms -- such as the eruption of Mount St. Helen's or the fires at Yellowstone many years ago -- the aftermath looks barren and bleak. If you believe in fairness, equality, community, reason, self-determination, and the environment, it is not clear how these ideals will fare in this new era. The new political leadership -- at least in New Hampshire -- is sounding harsh and brash.

Given the rhetoric of the incoming political class, the environment may take a beating in the near term -- with less regulation, more extraction, less support for conserving lands or managing existing public spaces. It took a few years, but eventually small green shoots started to emerge form the ash around Mount St. Helen's and among the burned lands in Yellowstone. I have hope that nature will endure this current still swirling political storm. 

One wonderful aspect of having a dog, or any pet for that matter, is that they are completely oblivious to human constructs, including politics. Our conversations about elections and politicians, still sound to them like, "blah, blah, blah, blah," although after last week it was more like "BLAH, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH!" Take a dog for a walk in the woods and any thought of politics fades away. So, Kodi and I set off in search of green shoots (Kodi of course was less interested in green and more interested in gray, as in gray squirrels).

As Kodi chased gray squirrels and chipmunks during our walk in College Woods yesterday, I looked for small green things and found the woods full of green shoots.

I feel better already.

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