Our youngest granddaughter started Kindergarten last month, not in the Usual way, though, as not much is Usual these days.  She’s thrilled, though, to be virtually attending and excitedly told me about getting 100% on her quizzes.  Today Casey is helping her with her school project: identifying trees by their leaves.

Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilize the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter.

We’ve got a lot of trees, several tree-identification books, and Grandpa already knows which are which around the house.  It’s perfect weather for tromping around the grounds, though the colors haven’t changed yet.

It’s a familiar Autumn school assignment, one that I remember doing back in First Grade at James Whitcomb Riley elementary school with my teacher, Miss Prokes.  I recall both of my children carefully gathering leaves for their lesson and we helped Olivia complete the same nearly seven years ago. This is probably the last time we’ll have a kinder to guide into the complexities of nature and how each of us is part of the whole, but my children and grandchildren are all aware that my Motto is “We are All One”, even trees, plants, and critters.


I was already dreading the chaos that is going to come with the election this year and now I shudder to think of how the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg is going to cause further disputes.  She was/is one of my Heroes.  May her Memory Be a Blessing…

This poem puts into beautiful verse how I, and many of you, are feeling about the loss of RBG…

WHEN GREAT TREES FALL
by Maya Angelou…

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

When great trees fall
in forests,
small things recoil into silence,
their senses
eroded beyond fear.

When great souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
see with
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
examines,
gnaws on kind words
unsaid,
promised walks
never taken.

Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
Our souls,
dependent upon their
nurture,
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
radiance,
fall away.
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
caves.

And when great souls die,
after a period peace blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.

Peace