Chaos, confusion, conflict, disorder, turmoil, contradiction, mount as I feel what a young Spokane Indian mother must have felt as she nursed her baby while sitting under the two Ponderosa pines in my front yard, as the trappers, then loggers and miners filled her valley, taking over valuable resting places, native food stuffs and destroying a lifestyle her tribe developed over eons of time. 

Thirty-nine years ago I arranged to have those two trees cut down because they made messes with their needles and pitch and offered a risk during wind storms. The night before the loggers came, I dreamed of a Spokane Indian woman nursing her baby, sitting on a pine needle blanket. When the loggers arrived I told them to not cut the trees and they suggested thinning them out, taking all the dead wood and opening them up to make them safer during wind storms.

Thirty-nine years later this little patch of Earth 50’ x 185’ grows all kinds of trees, shrubs, and perennials that fed my three children as they grew and now cradles me in a safe place for my elder years. 

I look ahead for my great-grandchildren; have I prepared my future descendants for the lives they will experience? There is no road map or instruction manual.  Changes occur so quickly, how can one prepare them? The obvious is to express love strong enough that they see themselves as good and decent people able and willing to take on challenges. Convey the value of work and effort put to a worthy purpose. Involve them in family life in ways that supports their growth and empowers them to be all that they can be. Support critical thinking, taking on challenges and seeing them through to completion.  

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