Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!


"We only have one earth, so we need to take care of her."
That's what Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin believed. He was disturbed that an issue as important as our environment was not addressed in politics or by the media, so he created the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. An estimated 20 million people nationwide attended festivities that day. It was a truly astonishing grassroots explosion, leading eventually to national legislation such as the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act.

I remember that first Earth Day.
I was living in Boulder, Colorado.
The most salient memory is of the many Geodesic Domes.
All of those triangles interconnected!
The dream-come-true of any hippie!
A couple of years later, when I was living alone in a quiet one-room "cottage" along Boulder Creek, I had an experience that truly put me in touch with the Earth.
It was a frosty white winter evening.
I was driving my Datsun truck and saw two people asking for a ride (their thumbs extended).
I stopped and asked where they needed to go.
They pointed ahead and said "Sugarloaf Road".
"Get in", I said.
His wife's name was Heidi. I forget his. But I won't forget his huge, red beard that was almost down to his knees.
When I stopped, they invited me to visit their home.
We walked through the snow-laden forest for about quarter of a mile.
"It's over there", said the long-bearded husband.
"Where?", I asked.
"That round circle on the ground", Heidi replied.
Her husband lifted a "door" and they invited me to come in.
Inside this hole dug into the earth was their home.
It was Z-shaped.
A small mattress sat on the top part of the Z. I sat here.
A treadle sewing machine was at the bottom of the Z.
"We put a Tepee on top when winter ends", Heidi said.
Then Heidi's husband showed me a round object covered with colorful "strings".
The strings were copper wires.
The round object was a small bicycle wheel.
"What is it?, I asked.
"It's this", he said.
And he handed me a small metal box.
"It's a bio-feedback machine".
I stared in disbelief at both objects.
"My company is called Psionics", he said.
It was the very first biofeedback machine. I felt honored.
I didn't stay long.
Heidi and her husband walked with me part way down the path from their home.
I was walking back to my truck astonished, when out of the cold blue evening sky a bolt of lightning struck just a few feet in front of me.
This thunderbolt out of Heaven was as remarkable as that meeting in the Earth.


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