In 4th grade the National Woodsmen of America sponsored a speech contest with the topic of "Conserving Our Natural Resources." I entered the contest. My speech began, "Distinguished guests, Mr. Lythgoe (principal), teachers, parents, and fellow students. . ." I don't remember the rest! I think I may have the 3x5 recipe cards for that 4 minute speech tucked away somewhere. My aunt Vonda, a few years older than me, helped me write that speech - the topic was something she was passionate about - she would have been about 18, a high school senior in the early 1970s. And because she was passionate, I also became interested in the topic, and I developed a love for my environment.
I try to recycle, I try to not litter, I believe driving less, walking more helps the air, which in turn helps my air. I believe simple is best, and less is best. I don't wear fur, although I do wear leather; I don't like chemical
composites - so do I wear shoes made from petroleum byproducts or
leather - a paradox I have not contained, like so many other "green" ideas and suggestions. I eat as near to nature as possible - really disliking any food item with a list of ingredients I can't pronounce (except an occasional Cheeto), and I praise my higher power for the beauty of the earth around me. I cannot imagine living in a place where there isn't green space, in fact my little piece of heaven here in Orem, Utah is often too confining and too unnatural for me.
Loving my environment also has affected my root beliefs - particularly that of ashes to ashes, dust to dust and a belief in a Mother Nature. I believe my physical body is a container for a spiritual being - and it is made of "our natural resources." Any bit of life and land that is natural calls my name these days, I am finding
turning to those natural resources is keeping me grounded through this unnatural chemotherapy process.
So when I shaved my head a couple of weeks ago, I saw my hair as a natural resource, one that I needed to give back to the earth, rather than toss in the trash. With all of the chemicals raging in my body, my hair was one of the last natural elements of me. It has sat in a bag on the cabinet for 2 weeks. Figuring out what to do with that bag of hair has been in the back of my mind, waiting for a prompting. I jokingly gave it to grandson Keegan for Halloween, he quickly gave it back!
A few days ago, with the weather still so gorgeous, I decided what to do. On Saturday, Scott and I (he is so patient with some of my doings) drove up one of the canyons, parked the car, and wandered off into the woods. While he pondered the rocks in the creek, I gave my offering back to the earth. With a silent prayer, I asked the elements of the earth to receive my hair, the animals who were gathering for nests or winter resting places to see my hair and use it. It was my way of finishing off my 4th grade speech - and a way of giving, something I don't do enough of these days.