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THE EAGLE TREE: The Remarkable Story of A Boy and A Tree ~Ned Hayes

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

An environmental love story, takes place in my hometown, is a great voice for autism and potential.  Peter March Wong is a fourteen-year-old boy who loves to climb trees – at least 3 everyday.  He is a walking encyclopedia of knowledge about trees and he is a gifted scientist.

March and his mother have moved into a smaller house, because Dad has moved to Arizona.  This move is very unsettling to March and he needs to climb a tree, a very tall tree.  He does not follow the rules because he discovers an extremely tall, old tree in the distance, when he was up in the new neighbor’s tree.  He spent too long up in the tree and his mother is worried and concerned….everything is new and different…. March explodes into a screaming and hand flapping experience and the police arrive to take him to a hospital for observation.  Now March needs to learn new behaviors as he comes into adulthood and in order to stay with his mother.

The huge EAGLE TREE is also under attack, as a developer wants to clear-cut the area and put up houses and apartments right at that very spot.

“Intertwining themes of humanity and ecology, THE EAGLE TREE eloquently explores what it means to be part of a family, a society, and the natural world that surrounds and connects us.” (cover)

I so enjoyed the comments in the book that praised our wonderful schools and the commitment to assisting children to be their best.  March’s mother will not move to Arizona because there are no programs like here and no commitment to education for all.  Washington State has amazing schools.

I knew nothing about this book when TLC Book Tours sent me a copy for review. I am so pleased to share this story with you.  It was a wonderful read; a hopeful read.

The Librarian I was working with last week said he had the book on his list and he was #15 for check out; he could hardly wait for his turn.

I want to share two cover quotes that I believe are significant in sharing this book with others:

“Every human experience is unique, but THE EAGLE TREE provides insight into one distinctive and uniquely important perspective.  The descriptions of climbing in EAGLE TREE get deep into the mathematical pattern-based sensory world of a person with autism.  The experience of navigating a tree climb is described in detail with mathematical and sensory detail that seems very authentic to me.” Temple Grandin, Ph.D.

“A gorgeously written novel that features one of the most accurate, finely drawn and memorable autistic protagonists in literature.  The hero of the book is like a 14-year-old Walt Whitman with autism.  Credible, authentic, powerful.”  Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity.

I enjoyed every single page of this book and cheered for March’s growth, passion, and determination.  This book should be required reading at least for our whole city and will bring a sense of pride and button popping spirit for our community and our efforts in behalf of our natural resources.

From the cover:

“Ned Hayes holds an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University.  THE EAGLE TREE is based on his past experience working with children on the autistic spectrum and on family and friends he knows and loves.  Hayes lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and children.”

Ned Hayes Facebook
Ned Hayes Webpage

Related:
Temple Grandin
Integrity
When Women Were Birds

FLIGHT BEHAVIOR ~Barbara Kingsolver

Thursday, June 20th, 2013


One of the parts I like best about Barbara Kingsolver’s writing is her word choice and sentence structure FLIGHT BEHAVOIR did not disappoint.  Those strong descriptive sentences just generated the story from hook to full investment.   I feel fully in sync with her style and I enjoy looking up some of the words to broaden Kingsolver’s intentions.

Nature in all her fabulous beauty is the main character of this book as a big change is revealed to a young woman on her way to staying the same and repeating stifling patterns.  Kingsolver is an extraordinary translator for Mother Earth and her lessons of wisdom, movement and change.  Who knew that a butterfly could be so vibrantly noisy and create new stories in our lives?  These are not just sound bites rather magical eye opening treasures hung from every branch for our witness. FLIGHT BEHAVIOR describes the world freshly from our habitual context.

“…this may be the first novel to realistically imagine the near-term impact of ‘global weirding.’” ~Amazon book reviewer

The story is set in a created town called Feathertown, Tennessee and the human being who is learning from Nature’s story is a feisty young mother named Dellarobia Turnbow.  This young woman is trying to change her life by doing what she knows how to do and by feeling trapped by her love for her children.  Like every mother she wants the best for her children, but doesn’t look to identify what is best for her.  An unsatisfying STUCK experience.   In FLIGHT BEHAVIOR, the butterflies are working to change a situation in their environment which is no longer working for them; in survival mode they are making sweeping changes.   Along comes the vibrant colors and Ovid a Jamaican Butterfly Scientist to introduce new ideas and concepts and bring to light what is happening.

As the butterflies dazzle the community and open possibilities and all those old patterns are brought to light, the community begins to act out in the ways it has been programmed.  The individuals display their natures, their emotions and Dellarobia becomes the scapegoat.  FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a wonderful study of predictable human behavior also and their amazing responses to change.  We all need to change, it is how we were beautifully created.

Barbara Kingsolver is a powerful teacher, scientist, and wordsmith.  I am sure you will be touched by this story and it will linger with you.  FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a must read especially for those who do not believe in climate change.  Magnificent!

Sometimes it takes just the right words to influence us to make change, sometimes it takes a sharp poke in the eye to reveal what needs to be rebooted in our systems.  We are being challenged by so many weather and health disruptions in our lives in the present; I think Dellarobia’s changes encourage us to probe our lives further and to focus out beyond the lines in the sand.  She did leave the “stuck in the muds” of her community behind in the flood.

“FLIGHT BEHAVIOR is a painful poke in the eye.”

If you purchase anything from this site from Amazon or Powell’s I will receive a few blossoms in my bouquet.  Thank you.  Donations also welcome.

tlc logo I did not receive a copy of this book from TLC online tours or the publisher.  This book was from my own library.  TLC online Tours did ask me to review this book and are offering a free copy of this book for a comment on this review.

Related Reading:
Barbara Kingsolver this Writer’s Writer
Animal, Vegetable, Miracle
The Myths of Happiness
Full Cup, Thirsty Spirit

Carbon Fast?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

industry

Our household has been actively working with the Architecture2030 plan to revise the codes and laws creating the change needed in energy consumption ( particularly oil consumption) and reduce carbon emissions.

We added solar panels to our house, study our water usage, do not use our clothes dryer, recycle, reuse and study to make our Architectural Firm the Greenest Design Folks in our area.  I am proud to say that we have taken an extremely old house, made it beautiful and created a lifestyle that has meaning and is very green.

We have offset our carbon production by the equivalence of planting a tree every month for the past 18 months.   We have produced enough power to run our household and 10 more for a number of months now, even with our dull and cloudy 2010 weather.

Can we improve?  Yes I am sure we can and that feels powerful to me, to be able to actively do some things to make an actual difference in my life and my planet.   So when the following invitation came to my email box – I said count me in…What a great way to bring carbon neutral into my spiritual practice for 40 days.

I just wanted to pass this on to you so you could have the option of making a difference on a daily basis.

Here is the invitation:

Please Join Us in a Lenten Fast . . .   From Carbon
As we write this invitation, the World Meteorological Organization along with NOAA and NASA all have data showing 2010 tied with 2005 for being the hottest year on record.  We also read that in December 2010, Arctic sea-ice cover was the lowest on record.  Just as humanity now recognizes climate change as a predominant scientific, economic and political issue, we also realize it is a profound moral issue.  Life on earth as we know it is mortal – it is susceptible to change, hurt and, yes, death.

Ash Wednesday (March 9, 2011) invites us into the season of Lent – a time within the church year to acknowledge that we are mortal, limited.  Lent awakens us to hope in God whose “steadfast love endures forever” and to struggle against everything that leads us away from the love of God and neighbor.  The Lenten disciplines of repentance, fasting, prayer, study and works of love are guides for returning to the steadfast love of God.  During Lent we confess our mortality, our limits and our vulnerability so that we might be transformed and become the new life God calls us to be.

We invite you to join us as we commit to fasting from carbon during Lent. Beginning Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent, participants will receive a daily email with the day’s suggested carbon-reducing activity.  When possible, this will include a quantitative measure of the carbon reduction resulting from the activity.  Each daily email will also have a section suggesting a weekly focus for the congregation.

If you are a pastor, we encourage you to email this invitation to the members of your congregation.  If you are a denominational leader, we encourage you to extend this invitation (perhaps with your own introduction) to your churches and pastors and invite them to send the email to the members of their churches.  Our hope is that Christians the world over from every denomination might participate in this carbon fast.

Congregations that participate are encouraged to gather weekly to share their experiences, support one another, compare notes, share resources and pray.

God is calling us to be the change we long to see.  Let us engage this spiritual discipline, grateful for all God has entrusted to us, and trusting that with God all things are possible.

Click here to participate

The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal  •  Conference Minister and President  •  Massachusetts Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Chuck Barnes  •  Conference Minister  •  Rhode Island Conference, UCC
The Rev. Dr. Lynn Bujnak  •  Conference Minister  •  Vermont Conference, UCC
The Rev. David Gaewski  •  Conference Minister  •  Maine Conference, UCC
The Rev. Gary Schulte  •  Conference Minister  •  New Hampshire Conference, UCC
The Rev. Chuck Wildman  •  Interim Conference Minister  •  Connecticut Conference, UCC

An initiative of the New England Regional Environmental Ministries, United Church of Christ

This  fast is adapted from materials created by the following organizations, whom we gratefully acknowledge:  Tearfund; the Brattleboro Area Interfaith Initiative; The Environmental Outreach Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC; Washington Interfaith Power & Light; United Church of Chapel Hill; Rock Spring Congregational UCC; Alternatives for Simple Living; CLR(NSW) Social Justice Committee; Buzzle.com.

Local Washington State group organizing carbon Lenten Fast  Earth Ministry and WAIPL Lent Prayer and Reflection Guide, Earth Ministry and WAIPL Carbon Fast Calendar

So are you working on helping the planet?  Do you think this is a good idea?  Do you like to be active and to do things that can make a difference?  Did you sign up?

Related Reading you might also enjoy:
The Biking Architect
Agenda for a New Economy
Do you know your Walk Score?
Taking it on the Architecture 2030 Challenge

As always I look forward to your enlightening comments: