Trying to pretend the administration in Washington D.C. does not exist is not working. For my own peace of mind I have tried, but today the news out of the capitol once again was explosive, unreal, and senseless.
First, the Endangered Species Act which has protected disappearing animals has been gutted. The new rules will go into effect in about a month. The idea of God’s creation, the beauty and wonder of these creatures with whom we share this planet is being threatened. This past week-end I had time to appreciate Makoshika Park with its long, majestic vistas, soaring hawks, eagles and turkey vultures. The quiet beauty of this little corner of the world is just a sampling of what a marvelous world we live in. Have you stood and looked into the depths of the Grand Canyon, or craned your neck to see the tops of the redwoods, or hiked a mountain trail and shared a meadow with deer or antelope or coyote, or watched a trout swimming lazily in a mountain stream, or landed a paddlefish at Intake? When we recognize the natural world, we move beyond our narrow little lives. Without nature, animals, forests, lakes, rivers we are only a shell of everything we can truly be. A few quotes came to mind: The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness (John Muir). There is nothing in which the birds differ more from man than the way in which they can build and yet leave a landscape as it was before. (Robert Lynd) Touch the earth, love the earth, honor the earth, her plains, her valleys, her hills and her seas; rest your spirit in her solitary places. (Henry Beston). The universe was not made in jest but in solemn incomprehensible earnest. (Annie Dillard)
Second, today the regulations for allowing people to enter this country as legal immigrants are going to require a good credit rating, having private health insurance, and having substantial financial means. Wow! That really threw me because then I should not be here. Nope, my grandfathers would never have been allowed to enter the United States. My Norwegian grandfather was the youngest son in a large, very poor family. His oldest brother came to this country and began to work and build a little nest egg. Finally he was able to send for his mother and father and little brother to come to America and have a place to live. My grandfather was 7 years old, and he always remembered his father’s frustration that when they came through Ellis Island the people were put in pens “like animals” (Sound familiar.). It wasn’t until Grandpa was 40 years old that he was able, through the Homestead Act, to get land in western South Dakota and make a life for himself and his family.
Grandpa Anderson was the youngest in his family in Sweden. His father died when Grandpa was nine years old. Three of his siblings came to Minnesota to find a way to work themselves out of poverty. When Grandpa came he was 19 years old. His older brother was going to get what was left of his father’s copper business so Grandpa had nothing. Coming through Canada he entered at Pembina and went to Minneapolis to stay with his sisters for awhile. Finally he went to South Dakota and also filed on some land in the hopes of making a life. It was never easy. But Grandpa Larson served in the South Dakota state legislature for a number of years and Grandpa Anderson was a World War I veteran and raised three sons who served in World War II and Korea and helped educate his five children
Credit? Health insurance? A savings account? I am wondering if I will have to pack up my bags and go back to the “old country” because I certainly don’t qualify under these new rules. What is your story?