Archive for August, 2017

Pro Life


You bet!!

Who wouldn’t be pro-life, except the Grim Reaper, maybe?

In spite of our ice-gripped winter, leaf buds unfolded this spring, proving the viability of most of the still-standing trees and shrubs. Some even pushed vertical shoots along trunks toppled horizontal in the storm. Spring’s pale-green fluffs of Douglas-fir baby growth turned to its middle-green grown-up hue in May and June; dogwood bracts and dog-toothed violet petals decayed on the ground as their seed capsules swelled, promising fruits of new life; wild iris splashed purple, blue and violet swathes along the roadside and Oceanspray dangled thin tassels that became ivory-colored plumes, now the burnt-golden tones of old lace.

In garden, woods and meadow, life abounds.

Outside my window, life could hardly be livelier. Four- and five-inch birds, variously with golden capes, scarlet hoods, or gold bellies (finches: American Gold, House and Lesser Gold); flamboyant Evening Grosbeaks and Black-headed Grosbeaks; chickadees, juncos and towhees; all vie for spots on the feeders. They hover and flutter, munch, challenge; retreat to the near-by Ceanothus; stand in line on the trellis, on the porch rail. Scrambling around on the ground more birds–towhee, finch, sparrow, mourning dove–bump shoulders with at least three chipmunks, who gather seeds and disappear into or emerge out of a conveniently-located hole in the ground, each species ignoring the other, all seemingly jockeying for Master-Clean-up certificates.

Surrounded by all this, how could I not be pro-life?

Admittedly, when that expression appears in the media, the focus changes. There, “pro-life” often looks narrowly on the developing cells that will become a fetus. I can think of little more exciting than welcoming a new baby (or grand or great grand baby) into the world. A wanted, loved, child who will be cherished and cared for. But is it really pro-life to bring an infant into a place where there is no food, no food stamps, no health care, no education, no welcome, no love, no care? She might as well be born directly into one of those for-profit prisons.

But I am unabashedly pro-life, pro-love, pro-health and education, pro-laughter and singing and dancing, pro-exploring and climbing trees, pro-empathy and interdependency and a search for cause and effect. I am pro-the life of the natural world—the womb that birthed, nurtures and sustains us. And I am pro-the right to life’s needs: clean water, healthy food, breathable air, a livable climate for humans of all economic levels, races or creeds as for all species.

I am in awe of nature’s cycles and relationships. In nature there is no away—no waste. What masterful engineering! Life continues for a discrete period: a day for a mayfly; more than two-hundred years for a giant tortoise or a bowhead whale; 1500 years for an Antarctic sponge; more than 5000 years for a bristlecone pine. Then the organism dies and is decomposed, its component parts becoming life in other forms. I am fervently pro-life, pro-micro-organisms, pro-decomposition and renewal, pro-respecting and emulating the cycles of the natural world.

But I’m a dedicated equal-opportunity pro-lifer. Life in all of its aspects, through its entire cycle, for all species, for all ecosystems, for the entire biosphere.

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