Friday, December 4, 2009


Last night Aina and I attended a Friends of the Mississippi River gathering at the Empire Bldg in St Paul. We met many river conscious people. There were several who were very excited about meeting Aina. I felt like I was with a celebrity! She has a reputation for conservation and being a friend to animals... except the ground hog. I met Ed and Sue Merket who remembered me from a Great River-Great Prairie project. They knew Annie, Too. I lost Aina but found a perfect place to sit and made the acquaintance of a 3-yr-old lad named Theo. I received a free bag upon arrival but gave it to a bagless pair before I left. When we got back to Rosemont Aina gave me her bag. Then she made sandwiches and tea. Into the dark we ventured. climbed the hill to the sheep pasture, built a big fire and enjoyed a late picnic. The sparks flew high and floated south on a north breeze. We stayed until the glow of the embers began to fade. Then we went to the house and watched Carol Burnett.
Today we didn't get up until nearly 9 AM! The birds were waiting in the lilac branches. The juncos so patient, the blue jay so ruffled... but the chickadee flitted about for he cannot waste the morning watching windows. Aina took out bird seed but her offering was snubbed. When will they descend in droves I wondered. They arrived at 9:30.
Dolly Bird has written, "...there is a tall cottonwood I know and sometimes I go to see the leaves and this morning I heard a meadowlark... to die is not the end... he said." She also wrote, "...I was just thinking,.. of the plains where the dirt is living..." They say the Cherokee were forced from their homes by military terrorists of the US government wielding bayonets. They tell me these desperate heart-broken people went into their orchards and said good bye to their fruiting trees... they wept and kissed the leaves. As they walked their trail of tears they were greeted with abuse but also compassion. I am told that while some reviled them others consoled them, gave them clean water, warm clothes, bread and human comfort. We must remember that there was kindness even in those horrible times.

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