Tuesday, February 08, 2005

From Dead Wood, New Life!

I have had some writer's block going on along with a stomach bug. It has been frustrating as so many things have come to pass:

Both Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales have been approved for their respective positions. The good news has been how many reps voted in opposition to these appointments. Their votes didn't amount to enough to prevent the approval of these folks for their appointments, but the record shows a considerable Voice of concern and opposition spoke out.

More good news: Barbara Boxer has done her best to serve the People. My most hearty thanks to her for risking taking an unpopular, but just and necessary role in the process, and in speaking Truth to Power. I admit I am somewhat envious of those whom Sen. Boxer represents, while Sen. Clinton continues to dismay and perplex me. But maybe there's some strategy in Sen. Clinton's actions to which I am not privy...or maybe the strategy is advantageous to her own gain, with little to do with serving the People. Again, I am perplexed.

It's been a year:
My heart goes out to Sue Neiderer and Richard Dvorin, parents of Seth Dvorin, a young soldier killed by IED about a year ago in Iraq. I didn't discover my relationship with Seth, a distant cousin of mine, till his death came to light in my extended family. I finally made contact with Seth's mother by phone a while ago. She is a no-nonsense, courageous woman, whom I admire and support in her efforts to bring to light the plight of our STILL inadequately-protected and under-equipped troops in Iraq to prevent more death and loss. One always hopes and trusts that there is some purpose that can emerge from such tragedy.

I take a special joy (though I cry every time) in Sue Neiderer's acts of Speaking Truth to Power. She was arrested at a Bush campaign event for challenging Laura Bush's praise of her husband's leadership in the War. I have read a large number of the interviews Sue has given and gotten a much more complete picture of what danger and frustrations Seth was facing upon his return to Iraq after coming home on leave. He was angry with the lack of necessary equipment and took his commitment to bringing all those under his guidance, home safely. And that is what Sue Neiderer spoke of at the protest of the Inauguration aired on C-SPAN2 (thank heavens for the CSPAN channels): Bring The Troops Home Safely Now!

As the first anniversary of Seth's death passed I wanted to acknowledge him, and his commitment to bringing our troops home safely, so I echo that thought and implore our representatives to Speak out for a speedy return of our troops to avoid more unnecessary losses. Considering an article I read last week said that our troops' vehicles were still not armored, nor did our troops yet have the IED trigger-jamming equipment necessary to avoid deaths like Seth's, I feel it is important to continue to give voice to this shame- that the Pentagon, with it's HUGE budget, still won't provide proper equipment. Here it is a year after Seth's death, and our troops are still unnecessarily vulnerable, risking life in harm's way without proper support.

This is so very troubling. Good thing that Nature is merciful and the weather has been so warm and sunny as to distract from the more troubling aspects of our National and International picture, though these things are never far from my thoughts. Up here in the mountains it's been Spring-like weather of late. Temps have gone up the 40's and even the 50's. The sun has been strong and warm.

My husband and I have visited our beloved River more often than usual at this time of year. The healing vibes of Her waters restore some peace. The cheerful birdsongs I have heard have lifted heavy thoughts. My gratitude for this warm stretch and the break from winter's usual harshness is deeply felt.

Today, I have felt quite a bit better after a day or two under the weather with the aforementioned stomach bug. I took great pleasure in walking with one of our four-legged companions today out on the land. It was drizzly, and still rather spring-like. You could see the moisture hanging close to the ground.

I was struck by a sight as I entered the area I call "The Grove" which is ...well...a grove...of balsam firs, which smell heavenly. It is carpeted with partridge berries and mosses, as well as being home to "Indian Pipes" which are wonderful-looking and aptly named.

It is sort of a contemplative space, and I walk through there with the dogs pretty regularly unless there is too much snow. It is surrounded by some remaining tangle of down wood from when the land was logged several years ago, before we acquired it.

Just where the path enters The Grove, I spotted some exposed remaining down wood. It was small and dead-looking wood, out of which a sapling had sprouted and had an alive, green look to it. It simply struck me, in the moment of noticing it, how Nature will always have her way; that Life will always come from that which dies and nourishes it, but that it actually does take death to release nourishment.

This put me in mind of both the continuing message through his mother, of Seth Dvorin that it is imperative to bring home the troops safely ASAP, and also the message that with the rise of Howard Dean as leader of the Democratic Party, Life may still be found, sprouting green and new, from what appears to be old, dead and rotten wood. May that dead wood of the DNC-past, our once-strong party, be revived by strength of hidden, forgotten roots reaching down even more deeply into all truly nourishing and nurturing Democratic ideals: Free Speech, Equal Rights for All, Healthcare, Shelter, Help for the Needy, Protection of Our Children, Women's Right to Choose, Education, True Social Security.

I may be a cock-eyed optimist, but I believe that we can again with Howard Dean's dynamic and solid leadership breathe life back into the Democratic Party and offer true opposition to the creeping fascism seen daily taking root via the White House. Let's Take Back OUR country to promote and protect Democracy For America- as a song says, "...not just for some, but for everyone!".

Then perhaps we can once more, take our place among nations with which we once enjoyed mutual respect and good will.