Friday, April 20, 2007

Earth Day Inspiration

Reprinting an illustrated version Stevi's inspiring column from our newsletter--

Greetings from Group 22 as Earth Day approaches!

Recently as I thought about writing this column, I found myself in Zion National Park in southern Utah. One of my favorite views in Zion is the panorama behind the museum. My first sighting of it this trip was from the Watchman Trail. To the left of it is West Temple, a broad flat mesa topped by a small caprock, both of which are sprinkled with evergreens. A red rock face shows the iron that leaches through the Navajo Sandstone. Black streaks remind me of the waterfalls that cascade down the face of the cliff during rainstorms. At the far right from West Temple and across the Towers of the Virgin, stands the Altar of Sacrifice, flat topped, white faced with wide streaks of red flowing down to make clear this formation’s name. When my gaze travels left to right from West Temple to the Altar of Sacrifice, I think of Amnesty International and the work its members do to lessen the suffering caused by human rights violations.

In this beautiful natural setting, I think of the individuals around the world who willingly sacrifice their time, their safety and, yes sometimes, their lives, to protect the dignity of the human family and, in some cases, the very environment that sustains life.

This month Group 22 takes part in two Earth Day celebrations. One is Friday, April 20 at Caltech, from 11:30 AM to 1 PM. The other is Saturday, April 21, at Memorial Park in Pasadena, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Please, join us. Stop by for some information, good conversation, an action to support, and an opportunity to get involved with our group.

On April 6, some of us from Group 22 went to Vroman’s Bookstore to hear Kiran Desai speak about her book THE INHERITANCE OF LOSS, our February book. What a delight to hear her, especially as she carefully explained her ideas concerning the first world, and her case the upper class in India, verses the developing world during the Q&A. This month we read the environmentally-themed TRACKS by Native American author Louise Erdrich and move onto a Pulitzer-winning book about the Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya next month. Consider joining our book group for interesting reading and lively discussion.

Since I believe everyday is Earth Day and the April event is a simple reminder, let’s all remember Earth Day’s three Rs. Recycle, of course; Reuse, yes; Reduce, let’s work at it because,
“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” -Chief Seattle, 1855
Happy Earth Day!
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