Tag: John Hurlburt

Further reflections on the natural world.

An inspirational essay from Arizona.

I was speaking recently with John Hurlburt whom Jean and I knew well when we were living in Payson, AZ. Subsequently, John sent me a wonderful essay with his permission for me to share it with all you good folks!

A quick web search found a photograph of Wildcat Canyon and that is at the end of today’s guest post.

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Midnight in Wildcat Canyon

The dirt road maze in our Arizona forests covers hundreds of miles.  It’s quite possible to drive all day without encountering another human being.  I once ended up at a place called Wildcat Canyon at midnight after taking a wrong turn on a wet rocky mountain road.

Cell phones are problematical in the high country. It would have helped if there had been a back woods road map on board. Fortunately there was a GPS that worked.

Wildcat Canyon in the moonlight was well worth visiting. The heavens were open above without a trace of man made light. The impact was awe inspiring. As we intuitively agree, everything fits together or we’d be random atoms.

Although, it may seem random to the casual observer, we scientifically know that the cosmos is unified from the quantum level of physics up with the classical level of physics and back again through fundamental forces we have barely begun to understand.

Einstein’s theories prove that the cosmos turns inside out without breaking.  Slight earthly energy shifts can modify and potentially eliminate all life on earth.  There’s no need to contribute to the problem by aggravating the negative effects of climate shift through either our deliberate negative action or our thoughtless lack of action.

It’s difficult to understand why we’re fussing and fuming as though we owned the earth, the moon, the sun, and the stars. There’s consensus on the body of scientific fact that supports a holistic understanding of our relative insignificance and our corresponding responsibilities as a consciously aware biological species which is presently the dominate life form on a remote garden planet.

Signs of our cultural crisis of consciousness are clear. Science is ignored or denied unless convenient and/or profitable. World economics are systemically corrupt. Slick politicians twist reality on its ear without regard for truth, justice, liberty, or equality.

Knowledge, understanding and wisdom are disparaged.

Insanity, driven by both conscious and unconscious human fears, masquerades as truth and reason.  War is profitable and encouraged. Our politicians know better if they have any awareness or compassion at all in their hearts and souls.  It seems that even when most politicians are aware of reality to some degree, they simply don’t care for much beyond themselves in the long run.  Political ends justify the means without regard and without regret.  Hyper concentrated economic power takes no prisoners.

Insanity is cold. We light a fire to keep us warm and to heat our food.
As the flame burns, we realize that matter and energy are interchangeable.  We realize that the earth is finite. We know that we’re energized by the universe. We are children of the light. We are the voice of life and the hope of the future and we’ve lost our moral compass.

Nature always wins and doesn’t care about the quarterly bottom line.  Peace is a verb.

Without a unifying purpose, surrender and unilateral acceptance are dubious. What could be more unifying than our instinctive need to survive? Our common objective is to sustain our natural balance. Our immediate practical objective is to save our planetary farm.

We don’t become fully consciously aware until we are born. We begin learning about our world in our cribs. Consider that we live in a garden cradle at the edge of the Milky Way. Change is constant as our universe emerges. Adapting to change is the prime directive for all life forms.

Our problems are complex.  The simple answer is found in all our human wisdom traditions. “Be of service to the Earth which sustains all planetary life.”  The answer to our political quandary is similarly simple. We can vote for the Nature of Creation or we can vote for Mammon.

We can vote for Sanity (Greek: sanos; balance, wholeness and well being) or we can vote for the meaningless night shades of human insanity. We may vote for Nature or we may vote for global corporate financial interests.

It’s important to note that the unaided human mind is limited.  Dumb comes with the territory with no additional charge. Our lives are a learning experience with an ongoing purpose of growth and service.

It took about an hour to get back to a main highway from Wildcat Canyon. It was a matter of back tracking through landmarks noted along the way such as the occasional miniature lake in the middle of the trail or a stretch of jagged rocky out cropping.  It was a relief to return to an asphalt road about an hour later.

A wave is breaking. Take care and maintain an even strain.

an old lamplighter

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Wildcat Canyon
Wildcat Canyon

You all have a very peaceful weekend. (Oh, and you may want to drop across to Sustainable Rim Country, a fabulous project that John and others have under way.)

Repeat of the Meet Molly post

Three years ago today.

I was working outside until late afternoon and didn’t leave myself sufficient time for a new post for today. So, as I do on these occasions, I pick one from previous times. Like Meet Molly from this day three years ago.

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A most heart-warming story! Beats the heck out of murders, politics and terrorists!

This was sent in by John Hurlburt for Jean who has been a bit of a ‘horse lady’ in her times and is devoted to the two miniature horses we have here in Oregon.

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Meet Molly

molly1Molly is a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit southern Louisiana . She spent weeks on her own before finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a dog and almost died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected and her vet went to Louisiana State University (LSU) for help.

However, LSU were overwhelmed and Molly became a ‘welfare’ case. You know where that goes, don’t you!

Then surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly and changed his mind. He saw how Molly was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn’t seem to get sores. He saw how Molly allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured leg. She constantly shifted her weight and didn’t overload her good leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Surgeon Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and, in a very real sense, that’s where her story really begins.

This was the right horse and the right owner!” Moore insisted.

Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She’s tough as nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious she understood that she was in trouble. The other important factor, according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the horse.

Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in Post-Katrina Louisiana. The little pony gained weight and her mane finally felt a comb. Then, amazingly, a prosthesis designer built her a leg.

The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life, Allison Barca DVM, Molly’s regular vet, reports:

And she asks for it. She will put her little limb out and come to you and let you know that she wants you to put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too. And sometimes, Molly gets away from Barca. “It can be pretty bad when you can’t catch a three-legged horse,” she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner, started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went, she showed people her pluck. She inspired people, and she had a good time doing it.

It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in life,” Kay said. “She survived the hurricane, she survived a horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.

Allison Barca concluded, “She’s not back to normal, but she’s going to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”

This is Molly's most recent prosthesis.
This is Molly’s most recent prosthesis.

Wherever Molly goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind. Literally as well as metaphorically.

The photo shows the ground surface that she stands on has a smiley face embossed in it!
The photo shows that the bottom flat surface of the prosthesis has a smiley face embossed in it!

Leave you with that wonderful feeling of love for Molly? Feel free to share it with all the animal lovers that you know.

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See you tomorrow!

One can’t have too many smiles in a life!

The infectious spirit of music – for people and dogs!

Good friend, John Hurlburt, forwarded an email to me the other day that contained a link to this YouTube video.

Watched over 1.4 million times and with very good reason!

Published on Oct 11, 2012
Mary Ray performs her ‘Hooked on Swing’ routine at Crufts. – Visit Mary’s site at http://www.maryray.co.uk

Our dogs – what wonderful, incredible friends.

Interstellar News

In celebration of the 2015 Spring Equinox.

space-graphics-planet-earth-stars-moon-3d

 

The moment of the equinox is Friday, March 20, 2015 at 22:45 UTC.

I want to share something with you that was sent in the mail to Jean and me two days ago.

Interstellar News

The essence of a shadow is the energy of the leading edge of Creation.

The dominant species on a remote, possibly unique, planet called Earth has as yet to learn that life is the essence of a shadow.

As a result, the self-centred dominant species on this possibly unique planet appear to self-destruct. The shame and the pity are that a majority of life on the beautiful and evolving planet will accompany the selfish human species into the void of biological extinction.

The good news is that although extinctions have not been previously caused by dominant life forms on planet Earth, multiple mass extinctions have taken place. Life has regenerated every time. The planet will create new life and consciousness as it heals.

The Nature of Creation always wins. Stay tuned to learn if humans wake up in time.

AOL Universal Communications

Picking up on that last sentence, humans will wake up in time if we learn to care for each other and the environment as Nature’s animals have done for ever.

Just watch this short video of a mother wolf and her four one-week-old pups as evidence of the power of caring.

Returning to the land – a guest essay.

A question of a possible catastrophe

Note: As tomorrow’s post will explain, the next few weeks will be encroaching seriously on my blogging time. So it was very timely to receive this guest essay from John in the last couple of days and even more generous of him to give me permission to republish it.

It will make an interesting comparison to an item from Dan Gomez being published on Thursday.

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Notes on Dealing With Imminent Catastrophe

We know that our world economy is leveraged at least twenty-five times beyond any earthly material foundation. Regardless of this reality, we have made an artificial global economy more real than our physical world. This situation only makes sense when we recognize that we’re being encouraged to re-establish our awareness of reality. It’s a final exam time for a leading edge species of clever monkeys.

Nature has tolerated human activities for millions of years. Now that our demographics ravenously swarm the globe, belch poisons into the five mile band of air that sustains surface life on earth, dumps wastes and toxins into streams, rivers, lakes and oceans, and arrogantly refuses to understand obvious warnings; Nature is reacting.

For those who are inclined to either or choices, in accordance with the physical Law of Entropy, the decision is between pursuing constructive or destructive actions. For those who are more spiritually oriented, there is no question. In either case, we know what needs to be done.

Our first order of business is to stabilize our inclusive global economy through green initiatives that are operated for profit without damage to the eco-system. Yes, this sounds impossible the first time we think about it. Can we come up with a better plan? Not really, when we stop and honestly consider our situation. We’re poised on the brink of a material, economic and cultural collapse created by human beings.

Wars continue to be waged world wide over territory and rapidly diminishing fossil fuel resources. We have essentially lost trust in each other as equal members of a common community we call Earth. And, we are rapidly losing faith in the unsustainably inflated symbol of trust we call Money.

A green economy is our best solution for the multiple problems that plague us. Here’s why and a few suggestions about how we go about the process. Essentially, our critical need for renaissance is a process of education, formation and transformation.

When we return to the land as a global priority, the use of solar energy can replace massive industrial electrical generators running on fossil fuel derivatives. Most industrial generators may be easily converted to bio-diesel fuel. Industrial diesel generators worldwide can be converted to bio-fuel overnight. No mechanical adaptation is required.

Electric cars already set speed records at Europe’s classic racetracks. Solar electric cars are on the horizon. A bio-diesel engine to power a golf cart costs about $500 today and is available from Amazon.

There’s a natural need for co-operation when we return to the land and collectively re-establish our financial roots. First, we recognize that each of our actions affects the well being of the earth and its inhabitants. Second we realize that we are responsible for the well being of the Earth which sustains our being.

Third, we re-establish our natural connection with the unity of a living universe. We begin with the community gardens and farmer’s markets that are already operational, and rebuild accordingly.

When we are foolish, we act independently for our personal well being. When we are wise, we act together for the well being of the earth and each other. Growing our own food not only assures that what we eat will be free of chemical by-products; it also makes us aware of how fragile our consumer supply lines have become. Recycling our food waste as fertilizer completes a natural growth cycle.

By the way, a back yard greenhouse can produce enough bio-fuel to operate a diesel vehicle and a solar panel array can generate enough energy to charge your electric car. How much money does this save each year?

We don’t need nuclear reactors that sometimes melt down and sicken us with a continual stream of radiation carried by the tides and the winds of an integrated planet. We don’t need the wastes of nuclear reactors that poison the earth for millennium.

We don’t need nuclear weapons capable of destroying most, if not all, of the life on earth in an all out suicidal war. The only creatures to survive the holocaust of nuclear war would need to be radiation resistant; shielded deep underground or deep under the sea.

Harnessing wind, water and geothermal energy are wiser ways to keep our world energized in a green economy. A combination of habitats and communities powered by solar and geothermal energy will produce a new building boom as we shed the skin of our former infrastructure and a green architectural industry emerges.

Recycling the components of our technological world not only reduces our industrial waste, it decreases the cost of manufacture. Similarly, adapting and reusing what we already have decreases our personal expenses and reduces our demands on the earth.

These are only a few of the ideas which are already possible. Many more are already in the process of becoming our greater reality.

Still think such a massive transformation is impossible? If so, please know that you remain in our prayers.

There is hope for tomorrow. Science consistently opens new doors. Faith in the Nature of God of which we are each an infinitesimal part makes us unified and strong as a consciously aware biological species.

John Hurlburt

an old lamplighter

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Independence Day

 Another gem of an essay from guest writer John Hurlburt.

It was just a short while ago, on the 26th June, that I posted a guest essay from John under the title of Arrogance ‘R Us.  It was very well received with twenty-two ‘Likes’ and, without exception, many favourable comments.

Therefore I am delighted to offer another of John’s essays; again beautifully crafted as you are about to see.

independence-day-67a

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Independence Day

Human beings on planet Earth are a tiny component of the Nature of the Cosmos. Life is an experiential opportunity which obeys Natural cycles and adapts in order to survive and grow. Cosmic awareness is unlimited. The statistical probability of consciousness awareness being a purely local phenomenon is so remote that it’s actually ridiculous to consider.

Human awareness is limited. We’re a very young cosmic species. Sometimes we don’t see much beyond the end of our own noses. We need to learn to play nicely with other children before we go much further beyond the living nest called Earth that we consistently befoul.

Time changes. In a consciously aware biological world, we may choose to build for the future or to ignore the future in favor of our short term lives. Those who accept change and make a coordinated effort to adapt have a better probability for a future than those who fear change. Responsibility to adapt to change comes with the territory.

What’s happening on Earth today is simply a matter of Mother Nature cleansing herself of an unhealthy species that’s lost track of the spiritual, natural and reasonable moral foundation necessary for equitable balance. Our problem today is that we tend to blindly follow the noisy mouthpieces of unified financial interests into bottomless pits. The pits are already dry or are rapidly drying.

We’re aware of the opportunity of each new day at the depth of our being. We’re aware that anything can happen and probably will sooner or later. It’s easy to develop a blasé attitude of acceptance without action. Why worry about it? It’s difficult to accept the truth about our self and make the effort necessary to change. What a drag ….

Nature is telling us that it’s time for Final Exams. How much have we learned? Are we aware or are we unaware of being unaware? Do we know that today is the tomorrow we dreamed of yesterday? What will be the harvest of our lives?

At a time when the Nature of our planet is changing rapidly, there’s an understandable cultural, social and economic churning taking place. Human history, particularly our wisdom tradition, record human successes and failures in adapting to the natural constant of change. Records of natural disasters date back to verbal histories of a great flood and beyond. We continue to ignore the obvious.

Ego keeps us in denial of our natural reality. Ego is our common villain as we lose what little that remains of our natural heritage through ignorance and arrogance. Ego is fear driven. We fear losing something we think we have or not getting something we believe we want or need.

Fear fuels anger. Anger fuels hate. Hate fuels war. War escalates the level of planetary destruction dramatically while doing relatively little to slow the relentless expansion of our ravenous species.

We are inclusively blessed at this very moment with the opportunity to make a positive difference in a negatively inclined world. Consider how attractive positive is to negative.

We need to proceed as the way opens and cross the next bridge as we come to it based on an emerging set of unifying human values which places the Nature of whatever we call God above and beyond the inventions and opinions of a species which has as yet to be proven trustworthy.

Speaking of trust, we have as yet to learn to trust our own realty as cosmically energized creatures sharing a transitory biological learning experience. Support for environmental suicide and global murder is insane.

We gain sanity and serenity through surrender. Recovery and healing follow surrender in direct relation to an increasing understanding of how everything fits together and an acceptance of our true purpose to live as stewards of Creation.

Peace be with you,

an old lamplighter

 

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Doesn’t this man write superbly well!

Self compassion.

A placeholder just for today.

Yesterday morning I had a lovely long chat with Jon Lavin in the UK.  We chit-chatted for a long time, covering such matters as caring for ourselves, about being compassionate towards the self, and much more besides.

Then in stark contrast, around noon Jean and I went over to “Runaway Tractors” to collect our tractor that had been in for a service.

The afternoon brought along another great conversation with John Hurlburt, he of the highly-appreciated Human arrogance essay last Thursday.  That brought forth a whole bundle of ideas to write about.

The talks with Jon and John inspired a wonderful set of essays in my mind – BUT!

But by the time I sat down in front of the PC to write today’s post, I had simply run out of time to write something of value.  So I’m cheating, well sort of, by reposting something from a little over a year ago. Hope it’s fresh to your eyes and that you enjoy it.

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Returning to Nature

The power of serendipity!

Why the choice of this sub-heading?  Well, just because a number of quite separate articles and essays have come together to offer a powerful, cohesive argument for reconsidering the role of Nature in the future of mankind.

Of course, my use of words in that preceding sentence is completely ludicrous; the suggestion that ‘Nature’ is disconnected from ‘mankind’.  Yet millions of us, to a greater or lesser degree, do behave as if we are the masters of the world.

So let me dip into what has been ‘crossing my desk’ in recent times.

On May 28th, George Monbiot published in The Guardian newspaper an essay entitled A Manifesto for Rewilding the World.  (The link takes you to the article on the Monbiot blogsite.)  Here’s how that essay opened,

Until modern humans arrived, every continent except Antarctica possessed a megafauna. In the Americas, alongside mastodons, mammoths, four-tusked and spiral-tusked elephants, there was a beaver the size of a black bear: eight feet from nose to tail(1). There were giant bison weighing two tonnes, which carried horns seven feet across(2).

The short-faced bear stood thirteen feet in its hind socks(3). One hypothesis maintains that its astonishing size and shocking armoury of teeth and claws are the hallmarks of a specialist scavenger: it specialised in driving giant lions and sabretooth cats off their prey(4). The Argentine roc (Argentavis magnificens) had a wingspan of 26 feet(5). Sabretooth salmon nine feet long migrated up Pacific coast rivers(6).

During the previous interglacial period, Britain and Europe contained much of the megafauna we now associate with the tropics: forest elephants, rhinos, hippos, lions and hyaenas. The elephants, rhinos and hippos were driven into southern Europe by the ice, then exterminated around 40,000 years ago when modern humans arrived(7,8,9). Lions and hyaenas persisted: lions hunted reindeer across the frozen wastes of Britain until 11,000 years ago(10, 11). The distribution of these animals has little to do with temperature: only where they co-evolved with humans and learnt to fear them did they survive.

I’m not going to reproduce the bulk of the article; just hoped that I have tickled your curiousity sufficient for you to read it in full here. But will just show you how it closed:

Despite the best efforts of governments, farmers and conservationists, nature is already beginning to return. One estimate suggests that two thirds of the previously-forested parts of the US have reforested, as farming and logging have retreated, especially from the eastern half of the country(23). Another proposes that by 2030 farmers on the European Continent (though not in Britain, where no major shift is expected) will vacate around 30 million hectares (75 million acres), roughly the size of Poland(24). While the mesofauna is already beginning to spread back across Europe, land areas of this size could perhaps permit the reintroduction of some of our lost megafauna. Why should Europe not have a Serengeti or two?

Above all, rewilding offers a positive environmentalism. Environmentalists have long known what they are against; now we can explain what we are for. It introduces hope where hope seemed absent. It offers us a chance to replace our silent spring with a raucous summer.

Then further research for this post brought to light an interview with David Suzuki in February.  Widely reported, I picked the version published on Straight.com, from which comes:

In December, Canadian specialty TV channel Business News Network interviewed me about the climate summit in Copenhagen. My six-minute interview followed a five-minute live report from Copenhagen, about poor countries demanding more money to address climate change and rich countries pleading a lack of resources. Before and after those spots were all kinds of reports on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the price of gold and the loonie, and the implications of some new phone technology.

For me, this brought into sharp focus the inevitable failure of our negotiating efforts on climate change. BNN, like the New York-based Bloomberg channel, is a 24-hour-a-day network focused completely on business. These networks indicate that the economy is our top priority. And at Copenhagen, money dominated the discussions and the outcome.

But where is the 24-hour network dealing with the biosphere? As biological creatures, we depend on clean air, clean water, clean soil, clean energy, and biodiversity for our well-being and survival. Surely protecting those fundamental needs should be our top priority and should dominate our thinking and the way we live. After all, we are animals and our biological dependence on the biosphere for our most basic needs should be obvious.

The economy is a human construct, not a force of nature like entropy, gravity, or the speed of light or our biological makeup. It makes no sense to elevate the economy above the things that keep us alive. But that’s what our prime minister does when he claims we can’t even try to meet the Kyoto targets because that might have a detrimental effect on the economy.

This economic system is built on exploiting raw materials from the biosphere and dumping the waste back into the biosphere. And conventional economics dismisses all the “services” that nature performs to keep the planet habitable for animals like us as “externalities”. As long as economic considerations trump all other factors in our decisions, we will never work our way out of the problems we’ve created.

Concluding:

Nature is our home. Nature provides our most fundamental needs. Nature dictates limits. If we are striving for a truly sustainable future, we have to subordinate our activities to the limits that come from nature. We know how much carbon dioxide can be reabsorbed by all the green things in the oceans and on land, and we know we are exceeding those limits. That’s why carbon is building up in the atmosphere. So our goal is clear. All of humanity must find a way to keep emissions below the limits imposed by the biosphere.

The only equitable course is to determine the acceptable level of emissions on a global per capita basis. Those who fall below the line should be compensated for their small carbon footprint while those who are far above should be assessed accordingly. But the economy must be aligned with the limits imposed by the biosphere, not above them.

Quite clearly, if we continue to turn our backs on Nature, the consequences won’t be long in tapping us on the shoulder.

So, going to close it today with this, seen nearly a month ago on the PRI website:

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Plant a Tree

Trees — by Kristof Nordin May 27, 2013

angel-tree

Imagine the type of world we could see
If instead of saying ‘pray,’ we said, ‘plant a tree’.
With this one little change so much more could be done
To protect all living things found under the sun.

We could ‘plant a tree’ for our troops sent away into war
So when they return they’d come home to find more.
We could ‘plant a tree’ at our churches with our husband or wife
To praise the Creator through a celebration of life.

We could ‘plant a tree’ for the needy and for those with no food
We could even plant in public without seeming rude.
The government would not have to introduce rules,
And most likely we could ‘plant a tree’ at our schools.

If we took it to task to ‘plant trees’ for the poorest,
We would all soon be reaping the wealth of a forest.
We could plant freely with those of all religions and creeds,
The improvement of earth would be based on these deeds.

We could plant with our neighbours, our family, and friends,
And ‘plant a tree’ with our enemies to help make amends.
If we ‘plant a tree’ for the sick to show them we care,
We would also be healing the soil, water, and air.

We could ‘plant a tree’ to observe when two people wed,
And plant one with our kids each night before bed.
Throughout the history of the whole human race
We find respect for the ‘tree’ has always had a place.

The great Ash of the Norse was their tree of the World,
And on a tree in the Garden is where the serpent once curled.
It was in groves of Oaks that the Druid priests wandered,
And under the Bodhi where the great Buddha pondered.

In the Bible it’s clear that we have all that we need:
‘All the trees with their fruits and plants yielding seed’.
Despite all these lessons that the past has taught
Now days, it seems, we cut our trees without thought.

This is confirmed by the Koran, for in it we read:
‘Many are the marvels of earth, yet we pay them no heed’.
We all have a duty, no matter what nation
To perform our part in protecting Creation.

Just think what we’d have if we had picked up a spade
Every time each one of us bowed our heads and prayed.

Further Reading:

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See you all tomorrow.