Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Finally, Spring!

Up here on the north side of Black Mountain, the feeling of spring has been slow to come. Down in Brattleboro, things have been blooming for some time and the trees are that amazing spring green. But up here, we still had a little pile of snow left over from the snow plow until just a few days ago. The trees are just barely beginning to bud and the grass just starting to green. We have quite a large deposit of gravel on the grass left by the plow from the last storm which came when the ground was soft. That will have to be raked up. 

Last Saturday, John and I held our "Eco-Spirituality Father-Son Dialogue" at Hallelujah Farm. Fourteen people were there, including ourselves, and everyone was engaged and seemed to be glad to be there. John was particularly clear in communicating a very challenging message, and people really appreciated that. It was a special day for me, for sure. I never even thought to take out the iPod and take a picture of the group or the place! Sorry about that, loyal blog followers! 

Meanwhile, my knee slowly improves. A little raking I did yesterday seems to have aggravated it, so I have to be careful. 

Yesterday was a particularly good session at the Osher lectures on race (a.m.), and conflict transformation  (p.m.). We are reading contemporary authors on race, e.g., Kwame Anthony Appiah and Paul Taylor. Yesterday, local biologist Bob Engel gave a succinct summary of the state of research on the biological basis for the concept of race. The bottom line is that there isn't much. There is more generic variation within a group of people we would commonly assign to a particular race than there is between any two randomly chosen individuals from two different races. And there is no correlation between genes and commonly held beliefs about racial characteristics. The idea of race is a social, cultural construct. Virtually all natural and social scientists acknowledge  that, but differ on whether it is still necessary to speak of the existence of different races. But the reality is that all "white" people have "black" ancestors who moved out of Africa and went north, where all that melanin that had protected them from ultra-violet radiation in the tropics was no longer needed and even became a liability and fairly quickly (c. a 1000 years) faded away. 

Today was a full day! We had a Hallowell sing at noon, then it seemed pointless to go home because Ellen had a Bereavement Training session at 3, so we went to the Coop - actually she first visited a friend in the hospital - we had lunch, she walked to her meeting, I met John to do a debriefing of our Saturday workshop, then I had to go home to get music which I forgot to bring for an evening rehearsal, grabbed a bite to eat,  met Ellen at the coop again, and went to rehearsal. Now we are at the supermarket. 

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