The Ones Who Know

I have kids that come and go. They are 23 and 27. They don’t live here, but they come more often than when they were in college. It took me a while to get accustomed to the coming and goings. Each time, I was surprised when the tears welled up as the bags piled up by the front door. You know, that nagging ache that blankets your gut when your children take flight. Really, it’s no different than the first day of kindergarten, or the overnight middle school trip, or relinquishing the car keys, or walking up the steps of the freshman dorm and being greeted by the smell of pot wafting from the windows, or offering advice about bosses who are borderline abusive. Each time, that pit down deep tells you to grab them tight and not let go…

Don’t get onto that bus.
Don’t get into the car.
Don’t step foot in that office.

But you don’t. You love and respect them too much to do that. Really. But we’re the ones who know. We know what we’ve given them. We know where they’ve been. We know what they are capable of. But we don’t know where they’ll go. So we talk like we’ve been demoted, telling them to text us when they get there. But they know.

No Such Thing As An Empty Nest

I have changed my tune over the last few years about empty nests. The pain is unbearable at first. The empty place at the dinner table cannot possibly heal. Then it’s swell. Candlelight dinners at 9 and adult conversations. Could all this freedom be real? Now I’ve come to the conclusion that there really is no such thing as an empty nest. They come. They go.

My friend Carrie’s daughter has moved home. I can tell it’s not easy. But it’s necessary. She writes an eloquent account of the situation, asking herself whether or not she’s mom enough for this new phase of parenting.

The Ones Who Know

A few years ago, I interviewed singer, Dar Williams. The themes of her music speak to many issues that resonate with me…the environment, family. Dar has young children and wrote this song as they began their journey. She echoes the ones who really know.

The One Who Knows
Dar Williams

Time it was I had a dream, and you’re the dream come true.
If I had the world to give, I’d give it all to you.
I’ll take you to the mountains; I will take you to the sea.
I’ll show you how this life became a miracle to me.

You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

All the things you treasure most will be the hardest won.
I will watch you struggle long before the answers come.
But I won’t make it harder, I’ll be there to cheer you on,
I’ll shine the light that guides you down the road you’re walking on.

You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
When my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

Before the mountains call to you, before you leave this home,
I want to teach your heart to trust, as I will teach my own,
But sometimes I will ask the moon where it shined upon you last,
And shake my head and laugh and say it all went by too fast.

You’ll fly away, but take my hand until that day.
So when they ask how far love goes,
when my job’s done you’ll be the one who knows.

Discover Dar Williams’ music here.

Photo: Chris Scott Snyder

Mobile Greenhouse Teaches Kids To Grow Food

“If you can grow food in the back of a truck, viagra you can grow it anywhere!” ~ Compass Green

Prepare to be inspired by this sustainable farming/teaching project:

via: Treehugger

A Winding Path

Maybe it’s the work. Maybe it’s the strange weather. Maybe it’s what happens when you fall out of habit. Whatever. I let Econesting slide.

Blogging is a velvety, pills winding path. For me, troche keeping up with the demands of blogging must be inline with passion, for sale or why bother? Compromising doesn’t work. Enthusiasms shift and swirl, and passions take turns. I’m not swayed in my mission to share stylish green design through the eyes of a DIY heart. These things mattered five years ago when I started blogging and they still matter.

I’m also a mom, and what I’ve learned from that role is that balancing on the path is the main act. Sometimes the path gets thrown off. Not necessarily off-kilter, or veering off-course…but, wound around in one direction.

I threw myself into my Moms Clean Air Force work. It was not because it was the right thing to do (which it was), but because I wanted to. Because it mattered more…more than design, more than going greener, even more than knitting. I know, my knitting friends are scratching their fair isle heads in disbelief.

Pollution matters because it burrows deep into the core of global warming. Global warming matters because our children deserve a healthy, just and sustainable planet. Period.

Now I’m working on restoring balance and winding my way back.

Thank you for hanging in there. Your kind notes about missing Econesting nudged me closer to breaking the cycle of not posting. My knitting friends have been the most vocal in my absence, and I promise not to disappoint those who choose to click needles over computer keys.

Enough about me, how are you? How do you find balance between the work you love and the things you love?

Photos via Freshome from the beautiful town of Jaujac, France which recently became part of an art installation designed by Marseille-based artist Gaëlle Villedary.

Old King Coal Is A Dirty Old Soul

Coal is filthy. It pollutes our air, generic water and land. If we shut down, abandon or upgrade the most destructive mercury-spewing coal plants, will Dirty Coal CEO’s and their Chicken Little political lobbyists come out in flocks screaming?

“The sky is falling!!“

Sure. They already have.

But as writer, David Roberts from Grist points out:

“It’s helpful to have some historical perspective. Dirty utilities have forecast economic doom and blackouts every time the EPA has ever issued an air or water regulation. Every time! And every single time, they’ve been wrong. As EPA chief Lisa Jackson is fond of pointing out, in its 40-year history, the Clean Air Act has never yet caused an electric reliability problem…The fact is, defenders of clean air have analysis and history on their side…We can stop poisoning people with ancient, filthy coal plants without shivering in the dark.”

Why is it so important at this very moment to talk rationally about coal in a non-partisan, pro-save our children from mercury poisoning kind of way?

Because the new Mercury and Air Toxic Standards are due to be posted at the end of this week. Mercury is a terrible neurotoxin. Fetuses, infants, toddlers and even our pets are especially vulnerable to mercury poisoning, which harms hearts, lungs, and brains. The rule to eliminate this poison has been in the making for 21 years.

You say, “OK, Mother Goose, if Moms are so smart how will I power my world?

Invest in real clean and endless energy—renewable energy. It’s clean, it’s local and it’s inexhaustible. Think this an impossible task to do in our children’s lifetime? It’s not. This infographic from the Rocky Mountain Institute shows us how to light the way with solar, wind and other renewables. Meantime, let’s clean up the coal we are using–and make sure natural gas doesn’t turn into another big polluter.

So, will the sky fall with the new Mercury and Air Toxics Standards?

No. Now is the time to send Old King Coal and his no-soul political cronies packing.

Please join me in telling President Obama that you support the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.

Let’s put that merry but cynical Old King Coal where he belongs…up on the wall with Humpty Dumpty.

Illustration: Steve Morrison

This post was cross-posted on Moms Clean Air Force.