Friday, 29 June 2012

Are we bad children?

This post by Surfrider Japan has got me thinking about our conflicting attitudes towards the environment. It asks "Why do we treat the ocean as a dump?" And focuses on the dumping of radioactive materials into the ocean. 

It has me thinking beyond the ocean. Substitute "planet" for "ocean" in that question.

Do we treat our planet like bad children treat their parents? Do we expect them to provide for us endlessly, whatever we want when we want it and then expect them to put up with all of our reckless and selfish behavior, absorb our toxicity? Do we love it when we get our way, take without thinking and get angry when we don't get what we want out of it?

Well, folks, let's grow up and adopt a new attitude. I think we'd be better off borrowing attitudes from other cultures where elders are respected and children look after their parents not because we have to but because it is a privilege and a sign of our deep respect for those who come before and provide for us.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Reflections on Spring: Crocus

As a southern Californian, I grew up knowing Spring to be that couple of weeks when the mountains and fields were green. It wasn't until I lived in England and experienced Winter that I experienced the stereotypical Spring.

That was also the first time I saw a crocus. Crocuses were the little bit of color in the still brown and barren winter ground. Purples, oranges, yellows and whites, they'd bud in dirt on the side of the road. Not as delicate as a snow drop or flashy as a daffodil, they humbly poked their heads out of the dirt, singly or in patches, and opened their petals, revealing a hint of orange or yellow, paying homage to the sun. Crocuses were a sign of better things to come.

Everything at Once

It was a mild winter, which suited me just fine. And then suddenly it was summer with 80 degree days, then as suddenly it was blowing snow and wintery, and now it feels like spring. Cool mornings and evenings, a chill in the air even when it reaches 70, and flowers. Yep, this funny weather has done wonders for the blossoms. It seems everything is out at once.

In England, it seems typically you get the crocuses and snow drops in January, followed by daffodils, then tulips, then irises, etc. This year in DC, it seems the crocuses came after the daffodils and the daffodils and hyacinths have been out for a couple of months now. And in some yards, they're all enjoying the sunshine together. Apple, redbud, tulip and dogwood trees are in bloom. The cherry blossoms are past their prime. The magnolia blossoms have come and gone.

If this funky weather means a shortened season, then I'm a bit sad about that. Spring is the best thing to come out of winter and it helps pull me out of my winter funk. Regardless of the duration, I've been enjoying wander around taking pictures. Not quite as fun as rambling along the English countryside, but not bad for city living.