I’m penning this column from Florida. For the few people I told where I was going, most thought I was going to visit the famous Mouse, lay in the sun on beautiful beaches with a cold drink in my hand, or even go birding (which would be nice!).
However, my travel brings me here for a more important reason – to help usher into the world a new life.
My youngest and third child, now in her early 30s, is giving birth to her third child. I’ve been staying with her 3-year-old and 5-year-old girls. A flood of nostalgia has been washing over me this past week. What joy to wake up in the morning greeted by rosy, pink cheeks and wide smiles, “Hi, Nana!”
After preschool, we go to the park, take long walks, go swimming, look for bugs, stare at ants (avoiding fire ants! Horrible creatures!) and other such important stuff. A deep well of satisfaction grows as I silently watch these two little girls squat and look at the ground, point out bugs on tree trunks to each other, and fearlessly gaze at spiderwebs and wonder what kind of jeweled green and red spider is that? Of course, they always ask “Nana” who they still believe knows “everything.”
While my youngest child is probably the least likely to go on a camping trip at this point in her life, she is very environmentally mindful and purposefully conscientious about ensuring that her children are familiar with and comfortable in the outdoors. This became apparent when I was treating my two granddaughters to dinner tonight. As we were walking into the restaurant, a large paper cup was lying in the parking lot.
The youngest gasped and stopped dead in her tracks. “Look Nana, someone’s not taking care of our Earth!” (pronounced, “Erf”).
“You’re right,” I said, “Let’s take care of that.” They both jumped and offered to pick up the cup; into the trash it went.
As the photo of my newest grandchild appeared on my phone, snuggled next to her mother and both gazing into each other’s eyes, tears flooded mine. What a precious life. What innocence. What beauty in this newborn’s eyes – in all newborns’ eyes. This truly is what life is all about.
I know many get what I am writing. Others may not even read this column or get this far down in this column. I do not mean to get preachy, or sugary sweet, but the older I get and the more experience I have working in the environmental field the more I wonder, when are the rest of the people going to realize that the resources on this Earth are finite. We simply cannot continue blindly using resources without some effort in reduction.
For the sake of our children, and their children, and for generations to come – we all need to make changes.
Reach Lynn Youngblood at TheGreenSpace@sbcglobal.net.