Back on the Big Island

19 11 2014

The Big Island is an experience in country living.  There are no  bright lights at night to outshine the stars.  No tall buildings to block the rainbows.

Wide open spaces on the Big Island of Hawaii

Wide open spaces on the Big Island of Hawaii

And no sense of decorum on the part of the canine contingent.

The average American household boasts 1.7 dogs.  On the Big Island, where hunters use dogs to go after wild pigs, there’s always somebody in every neighborhood with a pack of dogs — five dogs, even 30 dogs.  When the sun comes up, the dogs wake up.  And if one starts barking, the others follow suit, and within minutes, the whole neighborhood goes off.  Kind of like a rooster crow-a-thon.  Only with dogs.

The dogs got me up in time to see this sunrise cloud formation... looks a bit like a turtle swimming through the sky

The dogs got me up in time to see this sunrise cloud formation… looks a bit like a turtle swimming through the sky

At sunset, all was quiet on the western front

At sunset, all was quiet on the western front

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Sayulita Sisters’ Weekend

19 11 2014

IMG_2510Thanks to my dear friend of twentysomething years, Marianne, the Sayulita Sisterhood is together again at the Villa Amor. This time is precious.

“As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease. When you act out the present-moment awareness, whatever you do becomes imbued with a sense of quality, care, and love – even the most simple action.”

-Eckhart Tolle

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Birds circle endlessly over the Bahia de Banderas

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Pelicans diving for their dinner

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While the people are watching the birds, the iguanas are watching the people.

Saturday night fireworks -- this one looks like an Anthurium flower

Saturday night fireworks — this one looks like a heart on a string!





Veteran’s Day

11 11 2014

I took a long walk through Brookline today, fall leaves crunching under my feet.

I was thinking of all of our veterans, especially the new generation our country is about to create.

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Memorial to Revolutionary War Veterans in Brookline, Massachusetts

I hope someday we can stop going to war over our energy dependence.

I hope someday we can stop going to war over our energy dependence.





Indigenous People’s Working Group on Climate Change, Day 2

4 11 2014

Most of us are lucky enough to know five generations: our own; our parents and grandparents; our children and grandchildren.  Fewer of us directly know our great grandparents and great grandchildren.  To keep these generations in mind, there is always an empty chair in the circle.

The empty chair ensures seven generations are represented

The empty chair ensures seven generations are represented

On day two of the Indigenous Peoples’ Working Group on Climate Change, I was inspired by the presentations from students at Tribal Colleges around the country.  Young people are directly engaging in measurement of change and efforts toward readiness and resiliency.

Wild rice country

Wild rice country

Indigenous people maintain a living relationship with the land, air and water.  Today, there is no hand-wringing in Indian country.  The emphasis is on action, particularly in STEM education — science, technology, engineering and math — for readiness and resiliency.

Winging my way back to Boston

Winging my way back to Boston

 

Mahalo. I return inspired and energized, ready to pitch in.

 





Indigenous People’s Working Group on Climate Change, Day 1

3 11 2014

I was honored to have been invited to join the Indigenous Peoples’ Working Group on Climate Change, held at that National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.   My invitation came via John Topping of the Climate Institute, a DC friend of a tech-industry friend.

The Indigenous Peoples’ Working Group on Climate Change is a beautiful example of the strong and fruitful partnership between Native Tribes and Tribal Colleges on the one hand, and Federal Agencies such as USGS and the EPA on the other.   I was able to meet the people behind the first Indigenous contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Indigenous people are taking action to prepare for climate change

Indigenous people are taking action to prepare for climate change

From the first light in Massachusetts to the sunset in Hawaii, the range of indigenous people in what we now call the United States is represented in this group. I was delighted to meet Casey Kahn-Thornbrugh, a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag, the tribe of my mother’s teacher.  My cup truly ran over when I clapped eyes on the Hawaaiian contingent, M. Kalani Souza of the Olohana Foundation and Dave Thomas of NOAA’s Ocean Services.

East to West: Casey, Mashpee Wampanoag; me, PODIA; M. Kalani Souza, Native Hawaiian

Casey Kahn-Thornbrugh, Mashpee Wampanoag; me, hanai po’e of the Kuamo’o family of Puna; M. Kalani Souza, Native Hawaiian.   Unlike my mother, who had a Wamapanoag teacher, I am leaning west.

During the opening protocol, elders who have crossed over were remembered.  Included in the honored group was Kumu Mahealani’s cousin, Kumu Raylene Ha’alelea Kawaiaea, who passed in March 2012.

The beautiful first day ended with a sunset reflected on the buildings of Washington, DC.

A reflected sunset seen from the meeting rooms at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

A reflected sunset seen from the meeting rooms at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

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Circling up in Cherokee, NC

23 09 2014

IMG_5541What a privilege to visit the Eastern Band reservation in North Carolina for the Full Circle Meeting convened by Cherokee Elder J.T. Garrett.  The group is celebrating its 20th anniversary; I joined for the third time.

Members of the Full Circle are an inspiring group of people: chaplains, counselors, social workers, hospice directors, nurses and elder-care givers.  Members have diverse ethnic and spiritual or religious backgrounds, but all share the world view that everything is connected.  There is a deep respect for the unique role and contribution of every living being and natural element to the interconnected web of all existence.

Some Full Circle members work in Native communities from New Mexico to Michigan to North Carolina.  Others bring the sensibility of interdependent living to their work in with Western institutions.  These gatherings offer the opportunity to reflect, to learn and to recharge.

Cherokee homeland at Kituah

Cherokee homeland at Kituah

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The beautiful Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina

The beautiful Smokey Mountains of Western North Carolina

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With JT Garrett

With J.T. Garrett

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Living!

17 09 2014

IMG_2178I love life.

I am saddened to have learned of another death in the MIT community.

I don’t understand but will not judge those who choose to see their last sunset.

My heart is with those left behind — sad, angry, confused.

For us, the sun rises tomorrow.

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My dad’s dorm at MIT

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Night falls in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

Night falls in Kendall Square, Cambridge, MA

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