Can't get enough lavender? I already bought some fresh bunches at the farmers market a few weeks ago. Attending the festivals is the way to go. There, you can immerse yourself in the fields and soak up the aroma from the blooms bursting forth in the sun. You can cut the flowers fresh and bring them home to enjoy. After enjoying the flowers for a week or so, then you can hang them to dry, and then place them back in the vases as dried flowers.
Here are all the festivals this year in case you want to plan a world tour.
Jason Ables has created a short video called All is One for Global Mindshift. It's a quickie to watch and has a very straight forward message. We are all (naturally) connected and share this planet. What we do impacts others (humans and all other living species). We are the ones who are responsible for changing the world to make it a better place. Each and every one of us!
Exploring the sciences of cosmology, biology and genetics help us to better understand the deep human connection to nature.Cosmologist Brian Swimme explains how being human is an extension of the original energy that emerged from the eruption of light that occurred 13.7 billion years ago in our universe.As the universe expanded and cooled the actual components of our bodies emerged.These components exist throughout the planet in various species and forms ranging from water to rocks.Biologist Lynn Margulis discovered that all complex life developed from an original symbiosis of four different bacteria.Three of these bacteria were incorporated into the first nucleated cells, and the fourth was the one that gave them mobility.These nucleated cells eventually fused into more complex forms including plants, fungi and animals.Biologist Edward O. Wilson has described how all higher eukaryotic organisms, which are organisms containing one or more cell with visibly evident nuclei and organelles, from flowering plants to insects to humanity are thought to have descended from a single ancestral population that lived about 1.8 billion years ago.A genetic comparison between humans and other primates highlights the similarities.The typical human protein has accumulated just one unique change since chimps and humans diverged from a common ancestor about 6 million years ago. Jane Goddall and Mark Beckoff explain that we share 98.7% of our genes with chimpanzees, 97.7% with gorillas and 96.4% with orangutans in their book "The Ten Trusts."Geneticist David Suzuki speaks about how humans literally are our environment.The air that we breathe; the water that we drink; the sun that generates energy in plants that we eat; and the soil that grows these plants; all exist as elements within our physical bodies.Johan Galtung reminds us of how the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, micro-organisms and plants all come together for the successful operation of photo-synthesis, which in turn is the basis for the food chains on which we all depend.The components of nature all exist within us.Elisabet Sahtouris explains how humans see through their eyes that plants, animals and even rocks are separate, but if we look into a magnifying glass all of nature exists in an energetic molecular dance of chemical reactions and recombinations. We are connected to all aspects of nature, and its preservation is critical to our very survival.
Before moving into the house I just rented, I had taken a friend by to see the house. While we were pulling out of the driveway she noticed this persimmon tree that is on the edge of the neighbors property. She was so excited that she had to go pick some of the fresh fruit for us.
Last weekend after moving all of my stuff into the house, my boyfriend and I were busy arranging furniture and boxes. We noticed a man who was surveying the house. Eventually he knocked on the door. He was inquiring about the persimmon tree and wanted to know if it was mine. He explained that in his native country the trees were much more common than here, and he was very excited to see the tree. I told him the tree belonged to the neighbors. He mentioned that he had knocked on their door and they were not home but he wanted to pick some of the fruit. It just so happened that my friend who had been so excited about the tree had helped with the moving the day before and had picked some more fruit off of the tree. I offered these to him. He began to take out his wallet, and I thought he was going to offer me some money and I said that wasn't necessary. He then pulled out a business card and handed it to me. He said that he lived in the senior home down the street and asked me to let the neighbors know that he was interested in some of the fruit when I saw them and pointed out his email address on the card for me to contact him.
The title of the business card says "A Healthier, Happier and More Peaceful Life." I have never seen a business card like that. I reminded me of a scene from The Peaceful Warrior Movie. Since I spent the last year focusing on the exact topics of health, happiness and the creation of peace, I know that it was no accident that he knocked on my door that day. I will be in touch with him once I get a little more settled in.
This is a perfect story of nature playing a role in making human connections! What a special persimmon tree.
Today is a United States national holiday for giving thanks.
I am thankful to all forms of life (encompassing the earth, the air, the fire, the water and the cosmos) for every experience that we share. They all have a meaning and purpose. While this experience is personal, it also exists as part of the collective consciousness, a place without borders where we are connected to all aspects of nature. Peace begins here. It is a place where compassion and thankfulness become a part of our everyday existence.
I was happy to learn about the Running the Sahara project on Matt's blog Empathy. On November 1, 2006 three men began their journey running the distance of about two marathons a day across the Sahara. They will be running across six countries and nine ecosystems. A major portion of the proceeds from the project go toward H2O Africa who's mission is to support sustainable and integrated water programs in a region that gets less than 5 inches of water a year. They are sustainable, in that projects are accompanied by training and maintenance to create a program that will live for the long run. Activity will complement other programs in the region, such as education and infrastructure development, m aking them integrated.
The Sahara is the largest desert on earth and covers a land mass similar to the size of the United States. A friend of mine from Ghana which is located South of Mali told me how his showers growing up were from a tin can with slits in the top. This exemplifies how little water there is. The lack of safe drinkable water impacts people's health, leading to malnutrition and starvation becasue of lack of food. Humans aren't the only ones impacted. The Eden Foundation describes the threats to native plants and animals in the region.
Desertification is increasing globally. It affects one third of the world's surface and has an impact on the lives of one fifth of the world's population. Africa is at the greatest risk with over two thirds of its landmass being desert or drylands. Learn more watching UNEP's global desertification outlook video below. It highlights new opportunities for improviing livlihoods for people living in desert regions by leveraging the wind and sun to bring energy to the region.
What does is an example of a government making the environment a priority at the highest levels look like? Let's review some recent constitutional examples to answer this question.
Bhutan's first constitution resulted in two draft documents produced in 2005 and is scheduled to take affect in 2008. The document pronounces that it is every person's responsibility to pay attention to the environment. Article 5.1 states that, "Every Bhutanese is a trustee of the Kingdom's natural resources and environment for the benefit of the present and future generations and it is the fundamental duty of every citizen to contribute to the protection of the natural environment, conservation of the rich biodiversity, and prevention of all forms of ecological degradation including noise, visual and physical pollution through the adoption of environmentalfriendly practices and policies."
In addition, the government also has responsibilities to conserve and protect the environment. Article 5.2 further states that The Royal Government shall,
Protect, conserve and improve the pristine environment and safeguard biodiversity
Prevent pollution and ecological degradation
Secure ecologically balanced sustainable development while promoting justifiable economic and social development
Ensure a healthy and ecologically safe environment
Article 33 of the new Iraq constitution, is much more limited. It states that, "every individual has a right to live in a correct environmental atmosphere and the state guarantees protection and preservation of the environment and biological diversity." It is a very general statement.
The current wording of the European Union constitution now includes recognition that all animals are sentient beings. Article III-121 states the following: "In formulating and implementing the Union's agriculture, fisheries, transport, internal market, research and technological development and space policies, the Union and the Member States shall, since animals are sentient beings, pay full regard to the requirements of animal welfare, while respecting the legislative or administrative provisions and customs of Member States relating in particular to religious rites, cultural traditions and regional heritage."
What is the difference? The Iraq constitution does not state that each and every human is responsible for the protection of the environment. It leaves the responsibility solely in the hands of the government. On the other hand, in Bhutan, care for the environment is a part of the culture and a person's everyday life. It stems from the Buddhist concept of sunyata that holds that no subject or object has a unique existence. The interconnectedness of all dimensions of life is recognized. In contrast, the EU recognizes animal welfare, but it currently lacks jurisdiction, and is only one form of environmental protection.
What is the best way forward, not only for single nation states, but for the benefit of the earth's ecosystem as a whole? How do we develop a global society that has respect for all living systems?
Currently only 6% of the Denver metropolitan area is shaded, much lower than the national average of 26% for urban areas. According to the Denver Post adding 1 million trees over the next 20 years would save $5 million a year in energy costs and remove 1.8 million pounds of air pollution around the city. That's a good thing! Is this something your mayor should be doing too? Take action and let them know they can make a difference!