Hello all, I hope this finds you well.
Honestly, I’m very mixed up inside this morning – relieved, grateful, and just very sad but I am not at liberty to share why just yet. The post I am about to share with you is from our friend Mark at his Endless Light and Love blog. I have to thank you Mark for bringing light to my dimmed heart space this morning! I read this post and was smiling and crying at the same time….divine timing from one soul traveler to another. I knew you had the “eyes” to “see” Mother under all that concrete 🙂 I’m so proud of you for finding such a GORGEOUS place to lose those shoes and socks! Readers I highly recommend you go the actual blog because he has posted amazing pictures of green space he found in Shanghai in which to meditate, ground and restore himself . I also highly recommend trying what he did out for yourself…lose the shoes and socks and find a patch of earth!
Taking Time Out in the Concrete Jungle of Shanghai
My Dear Friends,
One of my dear blogging friends Saymber said to me a few days ago, and I quote “.it’s important to stay grounded in these things. I would suggest a nice bit of time outside without shoes and socks and maybe some of your favorite music”. I replied that its not so easy living in a concrete jungle with 28,000,000 (that’s 28 million) other souls, but I agreed with her that what she was saying was so true and i really needed to get myself grounded, take my shoes and socks off and re-connect with Mother Earth, so today, I did it:) And I feel fantastic:) I took a walk to my closest Buddhist temple for some we deserved meditation and prayers and on the way back I spent some quality time reconnecting, standing amongst the trees, observing the gentle breeze in the leaves, listening to the birds and totally clearing my mind.
Mother nature is so beautiful and she will share her beauty with you whenever you need it, she can be found on the corner of a busy street, under a shady tree set in the concrete walkway, or even in a simple window box of flowers, all we need to do is ‘Open our Eyes’:)
Blessings Saymber, and thank you Mother Earth for bringing me home today,
Namaste, with Love
This morning we caught some of the news and it was good news! We found out about a non-profit based in Dallas called Retreet. These folks are currently helping the town of Rowlett TX in it’s recovery after a devastating tornado in April 2012. Retreet’s mission is to go into towns like this and they focus on one thing — TREES! Yes! The founder, Grady McGahan, a bicycle enthusiast, came up with this idea and it is mind-blowing wonderful to me! Oftentimes during a recovery, resources are focused on the human structures and not the natural ones. After a storm we are always seeing majestic old trees toppled over and most times, due to lack of resources, they do not get replanted.
Here is some more about Retreet. Kyle and I are planning on adding them to our list of places we donate to annually for Christmas!
Retreet is also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/retreet/
Trees are essential to human life. Their environmental, psychological, social, and economic value to our communities is inestimable. When an urban forest is decimated by disaster, a professional, coordinated response is needed. That being said, planting trees is a practical, effective, and unique way for volunteers to help a community rebuild.
Trees provide us with oxygen, food, shelter, medicine, and tools. They also increase property values, promote health, conserve energy, mitigate storm damage, and save water. ⍟ Given these numerous benefits, it is unfortunate that mature trees take the longest to replace of everything lost when disaster strikes. Many survivors recognize the need to replace trees early into the rebuilding process and badly want for that to occur, but do not have time, resources, and expertise to attend to that need.
Studies have shown that a healthy urban forest greatly reduces anxiety among urban dwellers. ⍟ Certainly, most disaster survivors experience elevated stress levels when faced with the destruction of their homes and the enormity of the rebuilding process. Through their presence and efforts, volunteers generate much-needed relief, cheer, and hope.
Replanting trees also helps prevent future disasters. Previously forested areas that have been burned become prone to flash floods. Coastal regions that have been hit by hurricanes become susceptible to erosion. Blanketing such communities with new trees provides a barricade from even more damage.
Tree planting is an enjoyable and physically engaging activity, and proper planting techniques are easily taught. That newfound knowledge will last a lifetime and will encourage volunteers to become greater stewards of the environment. On site, the impact each volunteer makes will last for generations to come.
The bicycle is one of humankind’s greatest inventions. Riding one not only leads to increased health, physical fitness, and mental well-being but also benefits the local community. Most importantly, it’s just plain fun!
The presence of bicycles on the street does not produce extra noise, traffic, or pollution, but rather lowers stress, reduces congestion, and decreases our effect on the environment. Cycling is an efficient method of transportation that allows people to interact with their surrounding environment.
Our open group rides grant us the ability to connect to local cyclists and help advocate for cycling within their community. A low-impact aerobic exercise, cycling is accessible to people of all ages.
The worldwide cycling community is growing. Certainly, there are far more people who ride bicycles than plant trees on a regular basis. Our organization recognizes that cyclists are inherently predisposed to the concept of our mission. They enjoy riding bicycles through forests and down avenues, not around parking lots. Cyclists understand the importance of trees within the landscape and are physically capable of helping us replant them in communities rebuilding in the wake of disaster.
The demographics that make up the cycling community are diverse. Members of this community are always interested in meeting others who ride, and of attributing meaning to riding their bike beyond the pure enjoyment of doing so. There is no other subculture more suited to becoming RETREETers.
Grady’s group is one of the only non-profits in the US that does this!