SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions

December, 2010
Vol. 9, Number 12


Home Page About SNS Press Author Richard Sidy Contact Us Buy Publications


A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

Poems of society, the human condition, and spiritual discovery.

Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.

Featured Articles about Responsibility, the Future and Consciousness:

Hope for the Future
Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Conflict, Harmony and Integrity
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-violent Political Change
Living Without an Enemy
Protecting Children: Words and Deeds





This Month's Article

A Living Canvas

The other day I asked a group of middle school students, "Why Garden?" They came up with twenty fantastic reasons that we summarized as the Three F'sFood, Fun, and Fitness. It is wonderful to add these Three F's to the Three R's! In addition, they named other benefits that we may call “Food for the Spirit” — Beauty, therapy, trying new things, being outside, and helping the environment.

Today, I am thinking about a garden as beauty, as a living canvas. For our family it is the backdrop of our life. Looking at old photo albums I see it ever-present, transforming as our family transforms according to our actives, our age, and needs. It is a place of beauty, rest, recreation; a place for passing milestones of life and celebrations; a source of nourishment.

In these winter months it reminds us that there is a time of rest and transition, necessary for new life and creativity. The other day I found an earthworm, cold, on top of the soil, lifeless but moist. I took it in my hand, held it warm for awhile until I felt it move. Then, I dug a hole and placed it in with loose dirt and leaves.

A couple of days later I found a dead yellow-bellied sap sucker near our apple tree. This is a bird I loathe for its habit of girdling trees with holes so that the sap oozes out. I picked it up with no sadness and admired its exquisite colors before tossing it into a pile of last season's plant waste to decompose.

A garden is a place to share life. Now that our children are gone there are many lives still to nurture and share it with. I am against bird feeders, or "feeding" wildlife, yet birds and wildlife abound, attracted by the energy of the life zone we have created and maintained.

I have had so many intimate hummingbird experiences that are the most thrilling. Many nest in our yard and drink nectar from our flowers. Some have come to play in the mist of a hose I held on a hot summer day. Another scolded me, hovering about a foot from my face when I unknowingly came too close to her nest with babies in it. Last week I scolded a ruby throat for staying past the first frost, as it foraged for nectar in scarce flowers. We have toad, bunny and many other bird and animal stories, because now they are our family and share our garden.

It is a constantly changing canvas of texture and color, transforming daily and with the seasons. Where else can one create to stimulate so many senses? Fragrance, not just of flowers, but leaves, earth, humidity and currents of air; color ever-changing of every hue and luminosity; textures infinite and moving, and all of this in so many combinations and in so many different atmospheric conditions.

Education is not real unless it exposes children to the reality of coexisting and co-creating with nature. This is the primal cause for humanity's continuity and for the creation of civilization. It connects something inside of one's being with the source of life and with the invisible lives that nourish our spirit. It is the cause of awe that humans express through beautiful works and relationships.

When I see a school that supports the healthy activity of gardening − reconnecting children with the earth and fostering "ecological literacy" − I feel great joy. We are seeing that school gardens are becoming a stimulus for children to become more conscious of their food choices and to experience the nurturing and patience that comes with gardening. These are the building blocks for living responsibly. When parents participate in school gardens it contributes to family unity and to the satisfaction of working together to support the life-giving process.

© 2010 Richard V. Sidy

Read Related Articles on SNS Press — Politics & Society

Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological Literacy

Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival

Sustainable Development is Nature's Way

Personal Ecology

Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity

The Music of Place

Read Related Poems on SNS Press


Hush and Listen

Heat Wave


Three Quarters


First Snow

French Gardens

Related Website

Gardens for Humanity


You may email this article by using the link below:


Archives Column Menu
archives archives archives
Archives 2002:
Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003:
Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life
Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004:
Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All

Archives 2005:
Vol. 4, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Standing up for Humanity
Unity in Diversity
Thought and Imagination
Imagination and Healing
Lessons of Katrina
Intelligent Design or Evolution

Archives 2006:
Vol. 5, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Human Programming and Conflict
Non-Violent Political Change
Sustainable Development
Legalizing Torture
Living Without an Enemy
"Fast Food" is really "Slow Food"
Archives 2007:
Vol. 6, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
State of Fear
Criminal Justice
Culture Shock
Personal Ecology
Exploring the Mind - Parts 1 and 2
How Much Pain Can We Stand?
Archives 2008:
Vol. 7, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
Beyond Ideology
The Imaginary Economy
Tribalism and the 2008 Election
Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice
Have We Been Willing Slaves?
Are We Ready for the Future?
Archives 2009:
Vol. 8, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Good New Days
The Time is Right
The New Anarchy
The Art of Living
Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?
From Cowboys to Cowed
Who are the Real Game Changers?
Archives 2010:
Vol. 9, Numbers 1-12

Read past articles including:
The Music of Place
Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
The Sense of Place
Why do People Serve?
Ecological Literacy
Organization or Organism?
Are we afraid of our Better Angels?
Choosing our Battles

Meeting the Need
Diplomacy Help for Teens Science and Religion Poetry Archives
© 2010 SNS Press
All Rights Reserved

Web Design: Richard V. Sidy
SNS Press: Seeking New Solutions Home