Discouraged and Encouraged

This post is more than 3 years old.


I installed compact fluorescent bulbs throughout my house, and the big box stores lit up their parking lots day and night.

I decided to drive my car less, and the oil companies spilled millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.

I installed a rain barrel to water my organic garden, and the big agriculture companies shipped genetically engineered, highly processed food around the world for me to enjoy at a moment's notice.

I made a living running a business that tried to care first about doing the right thing, and my government used the taxes on our income to prop up businesses that lie, cheat and steal.

I participated in the democratic processes, and my elected representatives acted out of fear, ignorance and pursuit of personal gain.

I volunteered in my community to try to make it a better place, and my neighbor threw a bag full of trash on the sidewalk in front of her own home.

I tried to honor all forms of life and make space for non-humans in a life crowded with humans, and I killed a bird with my car.

I tried to resolve my conflicts in a non-violent, restorative way, and my President sent tens of thousands to kill and die in my name.

I tried to honor and respect women, and the culture said I wasn't a real man.

I tried to live with integrity and tell the truth, and the people said I wasn't doing my part to perpetuate the commonly accepted narrative.

I tried to have hope, and they said but someone's got to pay the bills, there's no time for that.


My friends Hilde and Charlie are creating a bakery on their land in Michigan, Laughing Tree Brick Oven Bakery.  They built a wood-fired brick oven themselves and they're focused on using local grains and ingredients.  I've tasted Hilde's baking before, and so when they offered an opportunity for friends and family to invest in the business, I didn't think twice about signing on.  Excitement!

Aaron is taking several months to bike across the country.  He's experiencing the poetry of the places he visits, and having many other adventures that he's been kind to share on his blog.  He seems fit to wander.

Richmond has rallied around a local business owner who has taken on the daunting and exciting task of restoring the train depot building here.  He's got big plans, and he's invited the community to join him in his dreaming.  It's been good for us, and even better for our children.

Beautiful murals evoking light, laughter, history, music and movement going up all around town.

A retirement celebration full of love, laughter and deep admiration.  New chapters and a sense of the great wide open.

A small chance of further complications, just a few more procedures to get through.  Sighs of relief and easing of fears, more than I realized.  So glad we're doing it together.

Friends and loved ones who are advocating for their own happiness in new ways, saying -- sometimes quietly, sometimes out loud -- "I'm not going to take it any more."

A summer bright and bold, constantly reminding us of its presence with pounding heat, daring us to waste all of a beautiful day to the droning of the television or in the make-believe world of air conditioning.

Tasting the bounty of the earth, proof that heaven is here and now.

Life created, life given, life received, life renewed.

5 thoughts on “Discouraged and Encouraged

  1. I'll mention the Bakery to my P's, nearby in MI.
    Kunstler would quip "does the depot restoration involve trains?"
    Someone getting married/new business venture?

  2. Like Jim, I have people I know in the area, and I have good friends who visit nearby Manistee for the entire summer. I'll mention the bakery to them all! the bread and pastries sound delicious!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *