Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Mother's Day wish

photo of emerging day lilies
© harrington
First and foremost, to any any all mothers reading this, and any other reader however related to a mother, Happy Mother's Day. In case you ever wonder what, if anything, mothers have to do with place, let me assure you that my mother always, always, always managed to put me in my place. I'll forever be grateful for that, I think. Now, if you can wait several more weeks, the day lily bouquet just emerging in the picture will be blooming and will then look more like a bouquet. However, if you're too impatient to wait, please, slow down and enjoy the greening of the year. Over the past week or so, we've been enjoying replaying DVDs of the (mostly) excellent "Minnesota A History of the Land." If you haven't seen it, you should. As a matter of fact, it would please me no end if our legislature would mandate viewing be part of the middle and high school curriculum for every school district and charter school in the state. Minnesotans are proud, and rightly so, of many things they've done well. I wonder, however, if "Minnesota nice" isn't a major hindrance to what some might believe would be an appropriate sense of outrage triggered by the unnecessary ravaging of the environment and its first inhabitants. Recently, the Star-Tribune published a series of articles on The Vanishing Prairie. I'm still irritated by one of the quotes from a farmer in western Minnesota who wanted to know of those who would preserve our prairie inheritance "how much is enough?" My answer would be turn turn the question around and ask those in favor of "development" how much is enough: does the world need more carbon in its atmosphere; more prairie turned into corn and soybeans; more obese people because we sit on the couch too much eating too much disguised and camouflaged high fructose corn syrup; more sprawl and fewer and fewer places worth preserving and protecting; more writing off our investment in trout fishing and water quality in southeastern Minnesota so a few can make money shipping Minnesota silica off to help wreck Pennsylvania and New York and elsewhere; do we really need more profit and jobs or more equitable distribution of what we already have? Sorry. I got carried away. Normally reticent New Englanders with a solid dose of Irish blood tend to do that. They often have a well (over?) developed sense of outrage, even on Mother's Day. They believe in the validity of the t-shirt slogan "if you're not outraged, you're not paying attention" and they hope that mothers will realize that better lives for their children means we need a better world and to get that we need to do better, not more. That's the Mother's Day wish from My Minnesota for mothers and everyone related to them by blood or marriage or motherhood.