Wind in the trees

Bird Droppings April 7, 2023
Wind in the trees

Over the past weeks, several storms have come through the area. Just before I went to bed last night, according to the weather, we would get another in the morning; now, it is clear through Saturday. Several times during the night, I awakened, and a storm was blowing, and Pat woke up several times with thunder and lightning throughout the night. She doesn’t like storms.

When my son’s dog was with us, no one else ever heard him, but I would get up and let him run about checking out the backyard, running whenever he felt like going. When it is just wind, he will search diligently. When storms came through, he would keep me awake all night, barking and going out to bark at the storm. I recall a night I was seriously thinking about duct tape to silence the dog, and finally, no storm, just a steady wind blowing through the trees several times. I went out and listened. While a bit chilly, the wind still makes an eerie sound on the tops of the pine trees.

In the old days, I would walk outside at school and watch clouds pass by. The sky has been clear lately, and blue and substantial white clouds pass by in a never-ending procession. The pines just past our house often move with a steady wind and are almost hypnotic. I was reviewing reports I have to do for our year-end over the next few weeks and found a bookmark on my desk my wife gave me several years ago. Several quotes from Chief Joseph and an artist rendition of the great Nez Perce leader are on the bookmark.

“I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk.” Chief Joseph

I thought about our current and past leaders to whom these words were addressed. Yesterday a Senator accused several significant companies of making over a hundred billion in excess profit off of the American public over the past few years, over a hundred dollars per person per year. Of course, the company’s attitude has been well they are willing to pay, why not a profit for our stockholders. Their other point has been that several significant companies paid little or no taxes. It seems the double talk is about to end, at least, hopefully. This morning, I got gas for my wife’s car and visited my second favorite store, Quick Trip. The price of gas is going down. There are no lines, screaming, and hollering, but Exxon’s CEO is smiling as plans to pump money into the oil industry are planned. We have become used to low-priced gas. We have become used to the fact it is low because of a price war between countries. We are producing more gas and oil than ever before in this country, and still, it is a shell game on the American people by big business and our government. Capitalism rocks if you are a multi-billionaire oil gas baron.

For many years, the Native Americans, as I look back at Chief Josephs’s words, but we average Americans from Europe, Africa, and Asia have been duped by our leaders and businesses because we have been willing to settle for what is offered. I watch in education as federal laws supposedly to improve education stifle education but profit corporations. A small example is a new math curriculum that lasted about three years and caused significant hassles in schools and with students in Georgia. Book companies reaped a small fortune, however. Georgia is still struggling with math, and amazingly enough, instead of remediating math, they make the math curriculum harder. The logic befuddles me. If our children have math difficulty, why make it harder? If I were in the industry and had a problem, I searched for the cause and used risk management. Put treat, tolerate, transfer, or terminate the problem. In education, we have a more straightforward solution. We compound the problem.

“If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect him to grow fat…?” Chief Joseph

Under federal and state mandates, schools failing to meet standards are criticized. Some states are suing in federal court for the law. This law or that law has been doing a paradox, leaving children behind and demanding schools without the resources to back up the programs and laws. We have issues with how children are being taught yet evaluate not what they have learned but what they know when they take a test. Sadly, the scores being used are not valid indicators of learning.

As Chief Joseph surrendered to a superior force outnumbered and outmanned, he made his mark on history through his words.

“It is cold, and we have no blankets; the little children are starving. My people, some of them have run away to the hills and have no blankets, no food, No one where; they are perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find some of them among the dead. Hear me, oh chiefs! I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more.” Chief Joseph

After his pleas for asylum in Canada went unattended, he stopped fleeing the approaching army, and the Nez – Perce had been defeated. They had out-maneuvered and outrun a superior force for months, but their supplies were low, morale was low, and winter was coming. A proud man laid down his rifle. As I think back and even look at today, I wonder how we deal with people so seldom can we accept anyone as equal. So seldom can we try and live in peace without making demands. Why do those in power have to flex muscle and have what is not theirs to have? So often, we interfere in other countries. We interfere with our own citizen’s rights and privacy. Power is such an addictive thing. Power a simple word and a simple thought. I wonder why we so often abuse it. Please keep all in harm’s way in your hearts and on your minds, and always give thanks namaste.

My family and friends, I do not say this lightly,
Mitakuye Oyasin
(We are all related)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: