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Elder Wisdom

Restorative Eldership

Restoring Eldership to families and communities is at the heart of the sustainability movement. Elders traditionally take the long view on the culture and the world, offering perspective honed by experience when the community faces critical emerging challenges. In conversation with the innovative spark of youngers, we elders are called to hold the long view […]

Telling the Stories We Live Inside

What does it mean—“to make sense of life”? It simply means fitting the elements into what I consider to be a coherent narrative… The story of my real life is not a neatly crafted story, not an aesthetically unified, coherent novel or drama;  it’s something of a hodge-podge. It’s full of digression, overlapping subplots, unfinished lines of action, trivia, changes […]

Cultivating Eco-Mind

A few hundred years ago, the world was flat  to some of our ancestors. Now, the world is a globe—and it makes a difference!  Shared ideas about truth and reality create our common sense of the world, our sense of what is possible in the world. Now in the 21st Century, we experience the need […]

Shelter and Sociability

As spring arrives with social events in the community and the call of the gardens at home, I find myself reflecting on the dance of shelter and sociability. Vital relationships in the wide community of life include family, friends and neighbors as well as the pets, squirrels and birds that pass through the gardens, the […]

Mid-Winter Reflections

Even as February signals the coming of spring, there is a lingering gestational benefit from the dark and chill of late winter: snowstorms in New England signal the season is not over.  I am reminded to embrace fully the benefits of winter’s slower pace, to savor completely the abundance that appeared in the recent season […]

Pete Seeger (1919-2014)

Pete Singer, the singer, folk-song collector and songwriter who spearheaded an American folk revival and spent a long career championing folk music as both a vital heritage and a catalyst for social change, died Monday, January 27, 2014. He was 94 and lived in Beacon, N.Y.  His death was confirmed by his grandson, Kitama Cahill […]

100 Grannies

It was Christmas 2010 when the idea came to me for an action group of women elders. I was sitting in the living room in front of the fire in the home I grew up in, with family members all about.  We had just been told that our daughter was expecting our second grandchild earlier […]

Robert Lane, Gray Is Green Founder

 Robert Lane, Founder of Gray Is Green “Born in 1917, I was twelve when the stock market crashed in 1929, coming to intellectual adulthood during the Great Depression and the New Deal years. As the son of a sometime professor and Executive Director of the Welfare Council in New York City (1933-1943) and with my […]

Holidays: Celebrating Hospitality

Hosting and Guesting in a spiral of welcome to embrace whatever comes up in life: this is what I learned from my mother as the relational spirit of hospitality. I think of her as I reflect on this piece from the thirteenth century philosopher-scholar Jelaluddin Rumi: This being human is a guest house.  Every morning […]

To Be of Use

The people I love the best jump into work head first without dallying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. Marge Piercy’s poem came up in my Labor Day reflections, then stayed with me as a riff on Autumn—as shifting light and shifting life. Autumn-of-life schedules create a change in the […]

Aging and Environmental Stewardship

The Shadow of an Older Tree: Aging and Environmental Stewardship    By Gill Joseph, Social Gerontologist and Owner/Director, Clear Pane Research Services, Ontario Canada, on twitter @Clearpane. Re-posted from June 26, 2013, EARTH NINJA    In 2003 France experienced the hottest summer since 1540. All summer temperatures soared. For many days, thermometers registered well over 40 degrees […]

Elder Activism

Bringing Young and Old to the Climate Fight By Bill McKibben, Founder of 350.org It always seems to me that different groups can bring different things to the climate fight — not completely different, but subtly so, in ways that reflect the diversity of our society. So, for instance, young people have been crucial leaders of […]

America the Soulful

“America the Beautiful” tugs at my heart in summer concerts.     Yet with spacious skies of fire and smoke, fields besieged by drought and fruits by flood, with heat waves from sea to shining sea, it is Ray Charles’ lyrics that ring in my ears: Oh beautiful for heroes proved, in liberating strife, Who […]

Dreams for Care of Earth

Can our dreams give us intimations of our need to respond to our wider environmental crisis? Let us consider several dreams reflecting environmental threats.  This first dream, Diamonds and Tornado, is from Paco Mitchell: I am in a house with several others.  A tornado is coming.  We prepare for it by practicing sky-diving maneuvers—ways to stay in […]

GAIA–an Ancient Myth Awakens Through Science!

By Martin Ogle Here is a scientific story of mythic proportions with a boatload of characters and concepts to tug simultaneously at both your left and right brains: In the 1960s, NASA really wanted to know if there was life on Mars, yet a Mars mission was still decades away. The agency hired James Lovelock, a […]

Journey to the Ground at Our Feet

Kentucky farmer Wendell Berry once wrote: “The world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, however long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch very arduous and humble and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.” Think of the places where […]

Silent Spring at 50

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring at 50 years of age is on my short list of things to mention at Thanksgiving dinner this year.  Her creative genius lay in wedding her passion for biology with her desire to write. While she is remembered most vividly for sparking the modern environmental movement, Carson did not live to […]

In Praise of Darkness

1/23/12 UPDATE: Now a new documentary, The City Dark, looks into the science on environmental and health effects associated with lighting up our cities and suburbs. With a rack of awards already received, The City Dark may well be set to spark a nation-wide conversation. To find out if it’s showing near you, check out […]

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