Hello to you. I wanted to share a beautiful picture our Alvarado LAPD folks shared on Facebook tonight which prompted me to go outside and see for myself! A full rainbow had appeared after the rains we had today and there was even a hint of another rainbow next to it! Our local police department folks take such good care of us and I thought it was beautiful that one of them took the time to share something like this with us.
Yesterday I saw a couple programs on our local PBS station, KERA, that were in honor of our National Parks: http://video.kera.org/show/national-parks/. I was even inspired to download a couple books by John Muir. The way he describes the places he saw just makes me smile…..transports me there. I also got to see the kind of lasting legacy that is possible for a President. One that leaves the world a better place for his being in it. I am grateful President Roosevelt met John Muir, who I think was his “messenger” on the behalf of nature that helped him see there is more value in protecting nature than destroying it for short-term profits.
The legacy of President Theodore Roosevelt: http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/people/historical/roosevelt/
Theodore Roosevelt (1858–1919)
There are more National Park Service units dedicated to Roosevelt’s life and memory than any other American…
|Add to ScrapbookTheodore Roosevelt, 1885|
|Add to ScrapbookTheodore Roosevelt speaking to audience, circa 1900-1905|
As a sickly young boy in New York City, Theodore Roosevelt learned taxidermy and started his own collection of stuffed specimens. At age 12, he donated some of them – a dozen mice, a bat, a turtle, four birds’ eggs and the skull of a red squirrel – to the American Museum of Natural History. Eleven years later, he presented 622 carefully preserved bird skins to the Smithsonian.
In 1883, when he was a New York City alderman, Roosevelt took a train to North Dakota to hunt buffalo before the species disappeared. He shot a bull and had its head mounted on his wall in New York. The trip transformed Roosevelt’s life – he bought a ranch in the Dakota badlands and returned regularly to ride and hunt. A book he wrote about his times in the West was mildly panned by Forest and Stream magazine publisher George Bird Grinnell; when Roosevelt burst into Grinnell’s office to complain, the meeting ended with the two becoming lifelong friends. With Grinnell, he formed the Boone and Crockett Club, a hunters’ group of prominent Easterners, and served as its first president.
After his inauguration as president of the United States in 1901 – following the assassination of William McKinley – Roosevelt became an even greater champion of conservation. In 1903, he interrupted a national speaking tour to spend two weeks camping in Yellowstone National Park; visited the Grand Canyon and called for its protection; then went to Yosemite, where he and John Muir slept out under the stars for three nights while Muir urged him to make Yosemite Valley part of a larger Yosemite National Park.
|Add to ScrapbookTheodore Roosevelt and John Muir, Grizzly Giant Tree, Yosemite National Park, 1903|
As president, Roosevelt created five national parks (doubling the previously existing number); signed the landmark Antiquities Act and used its special provisions to unilaterally create 18 national monuments, including the Grand Canyon; set aside 51 federal bird sanctuaries, four national game refuges, and more than 100 million acres’ worth of national forests.
There are more National Park Service units dedicated to Roosevelt’s life and memory than any other American, including Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the Badlands of North Dakota, where he shot his first buffalo and set up a ranch.
and John Muir: http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/people/historical/muir/
John Muir was one of the earliest advocates of the national park idea, and its most eloquent spokesman. Born in Dunbar, Scotland, he moved with his family to a Wisconsin farm in 1849. Muir’s father, an itinerant Presbyterian minister, treated him harshly and insisted that he memorize the Bible. By age 11, he was able to recite three-quarters of the Old Testament by heart, and all of the New Testament.
Muir studied botany and geology at the University of Wisconsin and had a natural flair for inventions. In 1867, after recovering from a factory accident that left him temporarily blinded for several months, he cut short a promising career in industry to walk from Indiana to Florida, creating botanical sketches on his way. From there he sailed to California and then walked from San Francisco to the Sierra Nevada – the “Range of Light” that would transform his life with his “unconditional surrender” to nature.
After working as a sheepherder in the high country for a season, Muir took a job in the Yosemite Valley in 1869, building a sawmill for James Mason Hutchings. In his free time, he roamed Yosemite, where he developed a scientific theory that the valley had been carved by glaciers. Muir felt a spiritual connection to nature; he believed that mankind is just one part of an interconnected natural world, not its master, and that God is revealed through nature.
|Add to ScrapbookJohn Muir’s home, Martinez, California|
|Add to ScrapbookJohn Muir in the Petrified Forest, 1905|
|Add to ScrapbookTheodore Roosevelt and John Muir at Glacier Point, Yosemite National Park, 1903|
To preach his gospel of nature, he moved to Oakland in 1873 to write articles for leading magazines like Overland Monthly, Scribner’s and Harper’s Magazine. Muir’s articles made him nationally famous. He married Louie Wanda Strentzel and turned her family’s farm in Martinez, California, into a profitable orchard business. But he grew restless to immerse himself in nature again, and, at Louie’s urging, he traveled to Alaska’s Glacier Bay and Washington’s Mount Rainier. His writings brought national attention to two more places that would eventually become national parks.
Muir would also champion protection of the Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon in Arizona. He was the public voice for setting aside the high country around Yosemite Valley as a national park in 1890, as well as for General Grant and Sequoia national parks. His efforts to make a large park in the Kings Canyon region of central California would not be successful, but later park supporters would take up the cause.
Muir’s three-night camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 could be considered the most significant camping trip in conservation history. He was able to persuade Roosevelt to return Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to federal protection as part of Yosemite National Park. The trip would have a lasting impact on the president.
Muir’s final crusade, to prevent the city of San Francisco from building a dam and creating a massive water reservoir in Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy Valley, ended in bitter defeat with federal approval of the project in 1913. Muir died a year later, on Christmas Eve, at age 76.
Muir was a founder and the first president of the Sierra Club; Muir Woods National Monument, a grove of redwoods north of San Francisco, is named in his honor.
The feature article on the Daily Good was timely for me as I continue to grow as a person in these uncertain times. It is easy to love those who love us back and seemingly impossible to love those who we want to hate. Every day in the headlines I am given more and more ammunition to hate than I am to love but I must always remember the truth. I am responsible for how I choose to feel, think and act….nobody else. They may try all their tricks and sometimes they are successful in pushing the buttons but only because I allow them (media, internet trolls, people who feed on negative energy) to be. Each day, each headline, each interaction is yet another chance at learning one of the paramount lessons to be learned of this life.
A quote from this article sums it up for me: “To love our enemies may be our only way out.”
What I often do to help me with this is one of the suggestions in this article. I try to see people I want to hate as the innocent child they once were, and may still be somewhere inside. Dictators, terrorists, criminals, racists, bigots, warmongers, fearmongers, Greedologists, homicidal maniacs and the like were once fresh and new, innocent like me and you. They were not born from a place whose only intent was of misery making. They were met and made into these monsters by those already here to greet them and eventually abandon them to this work. In my prayers at night I place these people I find myself wanting to hate. I pray the God of my understanding and the God of theirs will somehow come to some sort of peace treaty before it’s too late.