Dark Days?

“In casting up this dread balance sheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye, I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatsoever for despair.” ~Winston Churchill, June 1940 Every day I am bombarded with bad news about politics, society and the environment. Crazy people in charge want to go to […]

Life on the Edge

No matter how refined we may think ourselves, at some level we are all still wild creatures, made up of the same materials as the mountains, the deserts, the oceans, the distant stars. ~ Gary Kamiya There’s a war going on in my yard. Clover, dandelions and violets run rampant in the lawn, overgrowing the […]

Trees Keep On Truckin’

“And we danced, on the brink of an unknown future, to an echo from a vanished past.” ~ John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids   Unlike the the mobile, man-eating Triffids in The Day of the Triffids, our trees don’t crawl around and eat people, but they may come and go over time. The […]

Hard Edges

Hot town, summer in the city Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty Been down, isn’t it a pity Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city All around, people looking half dead Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head ~The Lovin’ Spoonful “… in cities … one seems to lose […]

Solve for X

“Life is an open book exam,” he said, “It’s not about memorizing formulas, but figuring out how to solve problems.” That approach worked well for me in college, although not all professors had the same attitude. Most engineering classes were tough, and slide rules complicated the precision of many answers, so partial credit was necessary. […]

What Dreams May Come

To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come When we have shuffled off this mortal coil” ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet Hamlet came across the bones of an old friend, Yorick (that some claim he knew well). In those days, in Europe and elsewhere, people […]

Where Do the Children Play?

“…if we build a city that allows children and youth to thrive, we are inherently building an inclusive, sustainable city for everyone.” ~ City of Toronto, quoted by Lloyd Alter A scream, shouts and high-pitched laughter. The kids down the block are engaged in some complex game that seems like an amalgam of tag, Marco […]

Small Green Spaces

Now more than ever, in an age when children grow up staring at tiny screens all day and Earth itself is threatened by human heedlessness and folly, it’s critically important to protect those places and get out to experience them as often as possible. But it is not necessary to live exclusively in the world […]