IN THIS ISSUE:
News from Wild Wind and Listen to the Earth with an Update from Joshua Stoltz
Words from Jim to Ponder
News from Wild Wind and Listen to the Earth
Thanks to all of you for continuing to read this newsletter. Our planet is showing us more, all the time, how fragile the living systems that keep it whole have become. We experience changes happening so quickly it may feel hopeless or that we “can’t do anything about it”. Our strategy could be no more than learning more about why these changes are happening and recognizing we share this experience with everything on this planet. Communities are much more closely connected than ever, and not just communities of humans, but of all life. Our well-being depends on how we imagine what we want our world to be and how we can make that happen, not just for ourselves, but for all life. Finding meaning in that concept gives us a deeper purpose knowing it’s not just us, but all other organisms on the planet. We can’t exist without them!
More and more people are recreating outside and numbers of people hiking long trails is growing. The Appalchain Trail Museum is located in Pine Grove Furnace State Park, Pennsylvania.
Located close to the mid point of the AT, it is the only museum in the US dedicated to preserving the history of the trail. In their words, the mission is to preserve “ the physical, emotional and spiritual experience of the Appalachian Trail. Some of the exhibits are devoted to early founders like Benton MacKaye as well as some of the earliest through hikers like earl Shaffer and Grama Gatewood. In 2019 an exhibit was dedicated to “Walkin Jim”, renowned long distance hiker, songwriter, artist, poet, photographer, author, entertainer and environmental activist. Last year, Jim was elected to be in the “Hall of Fame”, but the induction was delayed until this year. That will happen November 20, 2021 along with 2022 inductees in an outdoor celebration.
UPDATE to this newsletter!!!!
Josh Stoltz, one of Jim’s nephew’s wrote this after he and sister and dad returned from the celebration at the Hall of Fame…..
My late Uncle “Walkin” Jim Stoltz hiked 30k miles across North America, including the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, and an east to west cross-continent hike. He performed original shows of his travels with photography and music, always incorporating his keen sense of environmental awareness and justice for all things wild.
Last weekend Walkin Jim was inducted into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame!
To represent the fam, my Dad/ Mark, Sister/Randi, and I made the road trip to SE Pennsylvania. It was Dad’s first road trip since his heart surgery last year, so it was a big deal in lots of ways. We stayed in a hotel, drank lots of turnpike coffee, and walked part of the trail before the ceremony.
It was humbling to be in the presence of so many avid (“thru”!) hikers, and especially to hear stories about my Uncle and his passion for wild places. They still sing his songs at the Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association annual gathering! Shout out to my Aunt Leslie in West Yellowstone for helping keep his legacy alive with everything from album sales to kids environmental scholarships, and to Aunt Susan in Fairbanks, AK who has built her own legacy through musical activism
Words from Walkin’ Jim to ponder
2 poems from “The Wisper behind the Wind” book of poetry published in 1988
Green and Growing
Speaks in green
And sings in growing.
It stands in Life
Both feet firm to the ground
Roots to the flowing river
Eye to eye with the sacred source.
Destined to air
Born of water
Child of Earth
Bound to Flower even in deathsong,
Strong and sure woody hearts
Are born to bend and dance
To bear seeds of light
To carry on
Of Green and growing.
I come back
Hiding in your arms
Crying on your shoulder,
Soaking my roots
For just one moment
Takes me home.