Reflections

Gregory Boyle reminds us of the vision of an ancient prophet that we must aspire to today…

Gregory Boyle reminds us of the vision of an ancient prophet that we must aspire to today: “In this place that you called a wasteland, someday there will be hears again the voices of mirth and laughter…the voices of those gathered to sing.”

To reach that goal, Boyle says, we each need to hear and bear enlightened witness to each of those voices ...

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The Yaqui or Yoeme in Sonora Mexico need our Support in Stopping or at least rerouting a Natural Gas Pipeline.

One thing I am grateful for this year is how people of all cultures & livelihoods have stood with the Sioux and other First Nations at Standing Rock. But if you have not heard, the Yaqui or Yoeme in Sonora Mexico need our same support in stopping or at least rerouting a natural gas pipeline now intruding on their lands along the ...

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This morning a piece of paper popped out of my desk drawer; “Respect for Native Knowledge Can Help Preserve the West.”

This morning at dawn, a piece of paper popped out of my old desk drawer and fell to the floor. It was something that I forgot I had even written, and for sure I had not remembered that it had been published in the Arizona Daily Star around a decade ago. It was called “Respect for Native Knowledge Can Help Preserve the ...

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Not long ago, that brilliant & passionate philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore asked us this question…

Not long ago, that fiercely brilliant & passionate environmental philosopher Kathleen Dean Moore asked us this question:

“What will be our legacy for those who have no voice to shape their own destinies–what chance of gladness, what landscapes of enduring, bedrock value?”

My complement to that–if anyone can be as eloquent as Kathy can be–is that to speak on behalf of ...

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Our love & respect for one another are cultural antibodies that can protect us against the dis-ease in society.

It may be one of those times when we have to put a temporary ban or moratorium on “sniveling”, the desperate act of whining or complaining in a tearful manner. Yes, there are indeed valid causes for being alarmed, fearful, depressed or feeling marginalized that touch many of us… I do not want to sweep them under the rug at all.

But what ...

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On New Year’s Eve, five of us read poems, including this one written almost fifty years ago by Wendell Berry.

On New Year’s Eve, a mesquite wood fire in the fireplace, snow gently fell outside; five of us read poems, including this one written almost fifty years ago by Wendell Berry, published in ‘Farming: A Handbook:

 

“In the dark of the moon, in the flying snow, in the dead of winter, war spreading, families dying, the world in danger,
I walk ...

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Red Rock Testimony conveys the spiritual, cultural, and values through essays of writers whose births span seven decades.

President Obama’s designation of 1.3 million acres of sacred Native American sites, contemplative sanctuaries in canyons and archeological treasures at the Bears Ears National Monument is the best thing to happen this December, and the kind of gesture that might make America grateful gain. It reminds us that we live in a blessed country of spirit-filled landscapes.

If you have not yet seen ...

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Ecologists are finding mutualistic interactions as more pervasive than signs of outright competition for scarce resources.

Even in the harshest desert environments limited by water and heat, ecologists are finding mutualistic interactions as or more pervasive than signs of outright competition for scarce resources or signs of predatory behaviors.

From soil mycorrhizae and nitrogen-fixing bacteria, to plant-pollinator and plant-seed disperser interactions, cooperation abounds in challenging places and challenging times.

Some of the best-known examples of symbiotic relationships can be found ...

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Whenever I get too caught up in trivial pursuits, I remember Pablo Neruda’s lead into a poem and Walt Whitman’s lovely lines.

Whenever I get too caught up in the trivial pursuits of being human, as if our political machinations are sucking up all the air in the room, I remember Pablo Neruda’s lead into a great poem, “I have grown tired of being a Man”, and Walt Whitman’s lovely lines:

 

I THINK I could turn and live with animals, ...

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The Kino Border Initiative goes beyond the immigration crisis, by restoring hope of those who live far from the “front line.”

Here is an image of young men and women, from Mexico, Central America and Haiti, with their backs up against the wall. Many have recently been deported from the United States or are escaping disasters and violence in the south… they literally have no place to go.

But thanks to the work of the Kino Border Initiative based just 300 yards across the ...

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On this day, I thank the compassionate citizens which have affirmed that they will remain “sanctuary cities” over the long haul.

I cannot easily celebrate today’s commemoration of an altogether exceptional child being born in the Holy Lands of the Middle East without being reminded of the devastating Diaspora from Syria that is happening these days, just as it did exactly a century ago when many from my Nabhan family left Syria for “Amrika”.

THOSE SYRIANS A CENTURY AGO, WERE MOSTLY SHEPHERDS AND FARMERS, ...

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We are on a march together, trying to restore our dignity and decent treatment to all.

There is a lot of grieving going on in America right now, but there is also a lot of preparation for reaffirming the rights, dignity and invaluable contributions to our nation made by so many people of various colors, cultures, genders, faiths and varied abilities.

I for one am more grateful than ever for the extraordinary gifts, perspicacity and endurance of those who ...

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Nature is our teacher, our role model, and the measure by which we can judge our own successes and failures.

My forest ecologist friends like Don Falk and Peter Friederici remind me that true restoration of wild habitats is not merely about getting “the composition of species” right, but also getting the structural relationships and processes right, restoring wildfires, water flows and other dynamics to their appropriate roles.

So what might that suggest to us about what we need to do to restore ...

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The book that is bringing me solace during these turbulent times is a new release called Desert Voices: The Edge Effect.

The book that is bringing me solace during these turbulent times is a new release from Sand and Sky Publishing called Desert Voices: The Edge Effect. It is edited and mostly written by my old friends and spiritual directors Father Dave Denny and Sister Tessa Bielecki, but it also includes essays by Oliver Sacks, Jo L’Abatte, James Fay ...

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Yesterday at dawn, I went outside our front door only to find that our orchard-garden had been visited by a skunk overnight!

RAISE A STINK! Yesterday at dawn, I went outside our front door only to find that our orchard-garden had been visited by a skunk overnight. Its smell woke me up to this possibility: we need to announce the Year of the Skunk! So raise a stink.

Think of all your cross-cultural, international, interracial and interfaith collaborations that risk being disrupted by the present ...

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Sometimes we need to lock arms, against privileged power, to get democracy circulating once again.

Sometimes we need to stand on our heads to restore the circulation to all parts of our bodies. Sometimes we need to lock arms, fast and boycott against privileged power, standing our society on its end to get democracy circulating once again. Sometimes we need to stand side by side with the antelope, bears, hummingbirds and cacti to stand our society’s notion ...

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In his new book, Mycorrhizal Planet, Michael Phillips weaves his own web of what holds this earth together.

Our knowledge of how habitat restoration and regenerative agriculture work – how they proceed or falter – is being renovated as we speak.

A new sense of how symbiotic mycorrhizae shape plant establishment and succession has been slowly emerging over the last quarter century.

In his new book, Mycorrhizal Planet, Michael Phillips weaves his own web of astounding connections regarding “what holds ...

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