Dogs live in the present – they just are! Dogs make the best of each moment uncluttered by the sorts of complex fears and feelings that we humans have. They don’t judge, they simply take the world around them at face value. Yet they have been part of man’s world for an unimaginable time, at least 30,000 years. That makes the domesticated dog the longest animal companion to man, by far!
As man’s companion, protector and helper, history suggests that dogs were critically important in man achieving success as a hunter-gatherer. Dogs ‘teaching’ man to be so successful a hunter enabled evolution, some 20,000 years later, to farming, thence the long journey to modern man. But in the last, say 100 years, that farming spirit has become corrupted to the point where we see the planet’s plant and mineral resources as infinite. Mankind is close to the edge of extinction, literally and spiritually.
Dogs know better, much better! Time again for man to learn from dogs!
Welcome to Learning from Dogs
Reflections on the Great March through Payson, Arizona.
In yesterday’s post The Natural order I referred to Payson recently welcoming the Great March for Climate Action in their walk from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. I also referred to writing an essay on the event. That now follows, starting with a report from John Hurlburt, one of the organisers.
Thanks for your help for “the Great March for Climate Action”
“The Great March for Climate Action” arrived In Payson mid-afternoon on April 14. We had learned that the majority of the marchers are in the “younger” category (under 40), including two girls ages 10 and 12, walking for about a week of the journey with their Mom. But, impressively, quite a few are “AARP-ers”, in their 60′s and 70′s — walking all the way! Most of the group plans to continue on to Washington, D.C., being joined in various sections by hundreds of others! Our efforts aimed at making their brief visit to Payson as friendly and comfortable as possible.
They arrived at the meeting spot by the Event Center, having hiked up from near Rye, about twelve miles with significant elevation gain. Though weary, they were friendly and enthusiastic. Jim Speiser and family had set up their hot-dog cart, and we provided cold water and fresh fruit donated by Safeway — a case of huge premium oranges, and a case of bananas. The Marchers were delighted with the snacks, and extra fruit was given to their “chuck-wagon” for future days.
About ten local folk joined the Marchers on the two mile walk to the Payson Christian School, following their beautiful banners and signs. A local Boy Scout Color Guard led the procession and two Payson Police vehicles accompanied the March all the way. People in passing cars waved, smiled, honked and took pictures. Exhilarating and fun! A feature writer/photographer from the Payson Roundup covered the March, both along the route and at the school, where she took group photos and interviewed some of the participants.
Marchers who desired showers/clean laundry were transported to various Payson homes. Some of the group rested in their tents that were clustered on the sports field grass, and others helped with our dining room and kitchen set-up for the dinner. Food from our Payson volunteers began to arrive at five pm and by six the big buffet tables were loaded with delicious hot dishes, sides, snacks, beverages, salad and desserts, and the dining room was packed nearly to overflowing.
The evening opened with a Proclamation of welcome from the Mayor and Town Council, read by Ed Blair, and a prayer. John Hurlbert introduced the evening program that began with a talk about the History of Marches by Ray Spatti. Rob Ingram gave an overview of Payson, its achievements, water and forest issues, and future. Various participants in the March described their adventures, goals and dreams and asked about Payson’s outlook regarding environmental issues. Interacting with these dedicated Marchers was an education, a pleasure and an inspiration, perhaps motivating our Town to step ahead with sustainable solutions. In fact we heard that a young woman from here in Payson is going to join the “Great March”!
Our evening peaked with a delightful music performance by Cinnamon Twist and a sing-along. A number of Marchers were also musicians and they joined in with their instruments, resulting in a spontaneous “jam session” that brought the evening to a grand and joyful conclusion.
We couldn’t have done it without the amazing generosity and assistance from the Payson Christian School and their Staff, and without volunteers like you. Countless Marchers said they were overwhelmed by the friendly reception they received, and it was due to great team-work and local involvement. All the small things you did – offering showers, bringing food, walking with the Marchers, coming to the dinner – added up to a most memorable event. It is through small daily things that we can make a difference in our world — and all of you certainly have.
We can’t thank you enough!
The Organizational group for “The Great March for Climate Action” Payson visit 4-14-14: Ray Spatti, John Hurlburt, Jim Spieser, Dean Gooding and Vee Jeanne.
These were some photographs sent on by John.
But it’s no good just thinking how wonderful it was for Payson to be involved, and for the marchers in their nearly 3,000 mile walk from Los Angeles to Washington DC. Each of us who cares for a sustainable future on Planet Earth must make a difference. As is now a common plea: “Think globally: Act locally.”
One story that came out from the march through Payson struck me forcibly. MaryAnne, a good friend of this blog, offered, as did others, laundry and washing facilities to two young marchers. One of them, a young girl, was so committed to the message behind the march that she had vowed to remain silent from start to finish; the only exception being singing in the evenings. I was blown away by that commitment.
Read the full details of the event from the Transition Town Payson website.
Will close by offering these two items.
The first is picking up the relevant Editorial headline from the Arizona Republic of the 17th April.
Our View: It’s time to move beyond denial and become part of the solution
The second is asking you to watch this short video.
On March 1, 2014, 1,000 climate patriots will set-out from Los Angeles, CA, walking 2,980 miles across America to Washington, DC, inspiring and motivating the general public and elected officials to act now to address the climate crisis. This will be the largest coast-to-coast march in American history.
Director, Producer and Chief Editor: Zach Heffernen
Script Writer: Melvin Baker
Studio Manager: Maddie Kain
Voice 1: Ed Fallon
Voice 2: Maddie Kain
Voice 3: Jami Bassman
Voice 4: Zach Heffernen
Editor: Ed Fallon
Editor: Shari Hrdina
Editor: Courtney Kain
Back to the basics of life.
Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will recall that just under a week ago I published an essay under the title of A bedtime story for mankind. The post centred around an essay from Patrice Ayme. Patrice’s essay could be summarised as follows: “At the present rate of greenhouse gases emissions, within nine years, massively lethal climate and oceanic changes are guaranteed.“
Then just last Sunday, Patrice published a second essay reinforcing that first one. The subsequent essay was called Ten Years to Catastrophe. I was minded to republish that but upon reflection thought that there was a better option. That was to explore the deep, core questions that both of Patrice’s essays raised in my mind and, presumably, must be raised in the minds of countless thousands of others. Questions along the lines of a comment I submitted to that subsequent post from Patrice.
Do you have an idea, even a sense, of when global leaders, elected Governments, the ‘movers and shakers’ in societies, will truly embrace the global catastrophe that is heading our way?
And a supplementary question: What would be the indicators that Governments were acknowledging the task ahead?
Frankly, they weren’t especially good questions but they were an attempt by me to open up a debate on whether or not this is the “beginning of the end” of life for us humans. Central to what was going through my mind was the core question of how did it all go wrong?
On Monday evening, I rang John Hurlburt, a close friend of Jean and me from our Payson, Arizona days and kicked around those questions . It was a most enlightening conversation. John is an active founder member of Transition Town Payson and Payson recently welcomed the Great March for Climate Action in their walk from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. (An essay on that event coming soon.)
Anyway, from out of that conversation with John came the idea of a series of essays here on Learning from Dogs about the past, present and future of man’s relationship with Nature. The aim is to offer an essay on a weekly basis but we’ll see how it goes. Wherever possible, I will use the essays and posts from other bloggers that reinforce the vision. As always, your feedback in the form of ‘Likes’ or comments will reflect on the value of the essays to you.
After John and I finished the call, he sent me an email with what could be best described as his vision for these essays. Here is that email [my emphasis].
Everything fits together. Otherwise, we’d simply be disassociated atoms.
Human beings are a consciously aware component of Nature. We have a DNA-level directive to survive as a species and as individual members of a species …. in that order!
We are consciously aware components of the conscious interaction between energy and matter in a predominently smoothly emerging cyclic universe with departures from time to time into pockets of chaos.
We disconnect from reality when we become self-centered, often during the various stages of our lives. When we are blessed we continue to live and learn.
Issues of ideology, rational thought, economics, politics, religion, history and science become insignificant in comparison to the whelming power of Nature.
Such is life. It comes with the territory. Spirituality, Nature and Science describe the metanexus in which we live.
Maintain an even strain,
an old lamplighter
Ref: Episcopal “Catechism of Creation”
Ideas, feedback and comments, as always, hugely welcomed.
Today is Earth Day 2014.
With some minor amendments, I have taken the liberty of reposting what was published for Earth Day 2013.
Like many others, I subscribe to Mother Nature Network.
Recently published on MNN were twelve stunningly beautiful photographs. There are reproduced below, hopefully without infringing any copyrights. I just wanted to share them with readers of Learning from Dogs.
Earth Day photos: Celebrating the beauty of our planet
From the rolling hills of Tuscany to the surreal glacial formations of Patagonia, here are 12 stunning photos showcasing the diverse collection of landscapes found across the planet.
By: Catie Leary
Fri, Apr 19 2013 at 11:40 AM
Photo: Greg Annandale/Flick
Photo: Stuck in Customs/Flickr
Photo: Dietmar Temps/Flickr
Photo: Mary JI/Flickr
Photo: SF Brit/Flickr
Photo: mariusz kluzniak/Flickr
So wherever you are in the world please do something, however small, for the one and only planet that nourishes all the life of the world.
Even millions of ‘juniors’ would struggle to match this!
On the basis that today, the Monday after Easter Sunday, is a holiday in many countries, it seemed very apt to keep the theme relaxed.
The following video was sent to me by our neighbours, Dordie and Bill, with the comment, “Paul and Jean, This is incredible….you must watch this on the big screen!“
However, big screen or not, this video will have you gasping with admiration.
The Britain’s Got Talent website can be found here.
A very suitable set of pictures for today; Easter Sunday.
Thanks to Bob Derham for sending them to me.
From Jean and me and all our animals, our Easter wishes for peace to you all.
Drawing seven perpendicular lines. Can’t be that difficult?
(Note: will be especially enjoyed by those who have been exposed to too many hours of ‘management speak’!)
Can’t believe how quickly a month has gone by!
This last Tuesday, the 15th April, was a month to the day after our rescue horses, Ben and Ranger, arrived here in Merlin. There was a post on the 20th March called Welcome Ranger – and Ben!
Here’s a picture from that day:
Here’s a picture of Ben from sadder times:
So with no further ado, here are four photographs taken last Tuesday, the 15th April.
Jean is used to horses from previous times in her life but, for me, horses are not animals that I am familiar with.
But after a month of getting to know Ranger and Ben and them getting to know me, I find them adorable!