Thank you Ruth Ayres for providing a space to celebrate.
Today I celebrate clean fresh air. I live in Washington State and currently we are covered in smoke from wildfires burning in Canada and Montana. From my deck I usually gaze out to rolling green pastures and hay fields. They create a patchwork of colors blending together until they meet the valley below. In the distance the rolling hills rise up to meet the towering peaks of the Cascade Range.
For the past two weeks a thick gray yellowish haze blankets everything. The smoke from the fires hangs and drips from the air sending people to the Emergency room for breathing treatments. Air quality alerts remind us to stay indoors. I have cancelled several hiking trips because of the poor air quality. The long anticipated Junior Rodeo was cancelled because of the health risk to both participants and horses.
I’m grateful that the smoke from the fires is temporary.However there are too many places that are consistently covered with air pollution. I think of the what ifs or the possibility of the smoke not being temporary. I read an article today talking about current policies that want to move backwards and bring back industries that negatively impact the quality of our air and water. Really? We need to keep moving forward to find alternatives and better ways to ensure our air and water remain clean. One way we can help this process is to make our voices heard, join organizations that support policies and candidates that protect air, water and public lands.
As the new school year approaches I’m wondering what students will want to celebrate. I’m hopeful that as we move forward in education students will have opportunities to be problem finders, have time to work on solving real world problems and then celebrate their effort. We all have the opportunity to be leaders in education. We make choices every day that can improve our practice. We can choose to read professional books, research, write, connect with leaders in the field and then implement new practices that give students more choice, more voice. We can breathe new fresh ideas into outdated practices.
I have taken clean fresh air for granted. Today I long to see blue sky, hike up a steep mountain trail, filling my lungs with sweet clean air.
Today I celebrate clean fresh air.