Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meadows of Hope

Meadow, detail, © Maud Guilfoyle
       Last summer I began painting meadows and woods. Neighbors a few blocks from me planted meadow flowers filling their front yard. I walked by it daily before I realized I was going to paint it. PBS interviewed artist David Hockney at his show “A Bigger Exhibition”. It includes his art of meadows and woods near his home in Yorkshire, England. Hockney said nature is constantly changing every minute and season and he wants people to observe and appreciate it. This is my feeling also. For too many, the full extent of their involvement with the natural world is to glance at the sky while leaving their home in the morning.  No wonder there is “Nature Deficit Disorder”.
When I first read the article "The Year the Monarch Didn’t Appear" by Jim Robbins in the Review section (New York Times 24, November, 2013) I felt overwhelmed. I then kept thinking about Robbins’ writing of meadows in backyards, the margins of farms, highway meridians and empty lots. One solution could be as simple as dispersing packets of seeds and helping people restore landscapes. 
I thought about forming a non-profit and naming it Meadow Project. I chose “Project” to involve schools with their land and various curriculums including science, art, history, and geography. I googled “meadowproject” to see if the name was taken. It was! https://themeadowproject.com/  Quoted from the website: “Catherine Zimmerman’s Urban & Suburban Meadows reintroduces readers to the beauty and biodiversity of the meadow and reminds them of the intricate connections between wildlife and native plant communities that serve as both food source and habitat”. There is also a DVD offered with the book. The article about the Monarch butterflies in the Times is mentioned on her website, with readers reactions. 
After a moment of frustration over the name being taken, I found this to be very encouraging. It seems as though I am reading and hearing about meadows and habitats daily. In The Field, investigative journalist Lynne Mc Taggart reveals that the human mind and body are not separate from their environment but are a packet of pulsating power constantly interacting with this vast energy sea, and that consciousness may be central in shaping our world. Biologist Rupert Sheldrake has demonstrated that once an idea is expressed, it can be picked up by others globally. Malcolm Gladwell writes in The Tipping Point, this is the magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire. These three authors help explain we evolve culturally. Keep planting seeds with love and light!
I wish everyone a season of meadow light.   Maud Guilfoyle

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