Finding helpers

These late night thoughts are sponsored by the colors of autumn

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Here’s something I think about a lot: I’m 23 years old. If nothing crazy happens, I might live for another 70 years. What will those 70 years look like?

Smoke-filled skies? Aliens? Lifespans shortening? The rich getting even richer? The poor getting even poorer? The orcas living? Or dying? It’s hard not to imagine the worst. Especially when some things are the worst.

But then… last Sunday. I found the best. In the form of helpers. Tree-planters. Earth-carers.

Otherwise known as a group of Admiralty Audubon members. Some well over the age of 50, and still pulling Scotch broom out of the earth like it was no problem. Bending down, getting dirty, digging holes and planting roses, pines and firs. All so that my fellow young people and I can breathe a little easier in the next 70 years.

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At Kah Tai park, which I accidentally spelled as “Quai Tai park” in the paper last week. To much ridicule.

I asked if I could take pictures for the paper.

“You working on a Sunday?” They asked. “Lucky for you, we’ve got an extra shovel!”

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She knew it was highly toxic. She picked it up anyway.

“Come over here, get a picture of this Monterey Cypress, it’s going to be huge.”

“Look at this Amanita mushroom, isn’t it beautiful?”

A lot of shade gets thrown on baby boomers by my generation. Rightly so, in some respects (hello, housing crisis and 2008 financial recession).

However, I recently moved to the county with the oldest population in Washington State and I keep meeting helpers. Nearly every day, whether in the form of tree planters, green crab finders, creek restorers.

Over and over I also hear similar advice: there are people out there working hard, with new technology, new research, and new energy to help the earth. Instead of getting bogged down in nightmares about the Great Pacific Garbage patch, look at what’s happening.

And go plant a tree. They eat carbon dioxide for breakfast.

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