Sun Rising
Arizona 2008

i love so many things
in the life
that was given me.
the perfect is
what follows me
most every day.
what does not seem
right only
makes the sunny
days seem brighter.
when asked to do
the a huge project
to save the planet
i always quote Phebe Beaufette.
i would really like to have the energy/time/desire to do that
but I am choosing the things
that are most important to me.
I am saying yes not the other.
not only do i need to save
the planet
i need to save

Etta was one that went on a recycling binge. Not every year or month or day. But when she did people stepped to the side and let her take on the planet in her very own way. In the early days she sat in the dark cold house with her children wrapped in blankets and in a way, made everyone around her wish the end was near.

She had denied the existence of this family for so long she had a hard time recalling the saga that led to a new life, invented in her slip into mental illness. But now she was back, not nearly so wonky but still marching to her own drummer.

The no’s that had followed her everywhere seemed to be fading away. She had indeed done the right things but she now realized for all the wrong reasons. When the darkness and cold enfolded her totally, she did not see that she could have done it differently. Life cannot be perfect all the time she told her family not realizing that with that statement she was saying but indeed it is most of the time.

She was learning to be more positive and warmth began to seep back into her life. She found ways to open windows and let the sun it to warm the room. She learned to buy only what they needed in her grocery forays. The children ate the right food and her family of much younger people followed her lead and only talked about what they liked about her choices. It was her way of helping them…of showing her gratitude for taking her in.

Oh, she still sent the garbage away with the grown ups and there was no truck stopping to pick up their waste. The recycling station saw her coming but they didn’t cringe anymore. There were not plastic bags from the grocery that she was trying to pawn off on them. And she had finally given up on the cellophane wrapping that presents came in. There were no bags marked free left at the entrance. She had learned her lesson when she was banned from a similar place once before and she had cleaned up her act.

Everyone would have been surprised at the new Etta, a reasonable old lady with five cloth grocery bags in her purse along side a very small bag of garbage. She smiled as she slipped it in the bin at the coffee shop and walked away. She walked on down the street to the food recycling station and took her bag of windfall apples and a loaf of whole grain bread home to the family. All the while she never looked in the direction of those things that offended her because changing the world was more than she could do. She was saying yes to life…finally.


If you are new to this blog, you are invited to visit Etta listed in the labels.


3 thoughts on “Yes!

  1. I like this line — “The no’s that had followed her everywhere seemed to be fading away.”How very interesting that we were exploring different sides of the same coin this morning.Thank you for sharing!Whitney

  2. i think especially the poem made a wonderful point.. too many people have come to define themselves by the green perspective… and it is nauseating… i don’t believe true worth can be found in civic duty… i don’t care what it is you are trying to save……

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