Eight participants joined workshop leader Nancy Morgan on a hot July day, basking in the glow of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy’s prize-winning entry in the July 4th parade. There was much discussion about the impact of one person saying. “we should do this” that lead to a colorful display worthy of notice and praise. That’s a lot to be grateful for in terms of environmental awareness and advocacy.
After a round of “This Land is Your Land,” a song composed by Woodie Guthrie as a protest song in the 1940s, we discussed what verses and topics we might add to highlight the environmental challenges we face today.
An article in The New York Times “This is Their Land” that celebrated the return of the buffalo to Native American lands was heralded as a significant improvement in race relations and understanding of the ecological contribution buffalos make to the Plains environment and to Native American culture.
The writing task was to roam around Morven Park and look for the land each person claims as “my land,” why they chose it and how they plan to take care of or improve it. We then shared by reading, paraphrasing or describing our experience in nature, claiming birds, trees, streams and meadows and vowing endless devotion to their needs.
The session closed with a poem by Wendell Berry, a writer who began life as a farmer and evolved to be a fierce advocate for the environment.
And we mean to be one, too.