Welcome to the Wild Wind. Winter 2020
IN THIS ISSUE:
Another memory from Jim’s Ocean to Ocean walk
Announcement of Listentoearth.org
Words to ponder
Another memory from Jim’s ocean to Ocean Walk (May 1975-Oct 1976)
I mentioned in the last newsletter my intention is to include segments of the journals Jim kept during this long journey that took him over 5,000 miles. The transcript of this is in the archives at the University of Montana in Missoula. My hope is to get there sometime this winter so I can access more of these stories. For now, I’ll share what I have at home.
October 1976 Skagit River Valley, Washington
The little dirt road I’ve been walking on all day is leading me past and old farmhouse. The trim little building is nearly buried under a forest of well-tended shrubs and trees. The fenced yard is overflowing in color, flowers in full bloom splashed into every nook and cranny. The garden is a paradise, but the lady in the middle of it is what really catches my eye. She’s an elderly woman, bend and frail with gray hair pulled back tightly draped over her shoulder. She stands in the middle of the flowers, looking like mother nature herself. As I draw closer, she catches the movement on the road and looks up. I wave. She waves back. Somehow we start talking and I wander over to the fence.
Something about this woman draws me. She must be in her seventies. I’m only twenty three. Yet some bond here, some common thread ties two strangers together. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone you don’t know, to share details that might be lost to others. In minutes, we are sharing an intimate conversation, baring out souls over the fence.
She and her husband have lived here for over forty years. They built the place. They raised children (and flowers) over those years. Their home has been the perfect home, a place of warmth and love. She loves the place, especially this garden and her lovely flowers. Listening to her I feel the lively color must symbolize her entire life.
Her husband has been ill of late. He can’t get around. She’s having trouble caring for him on her own. In a few weeks they’ll be leaving this place, moving to town. Her voice has a catch in in when she mentions leaving. She looks long and wistfully at the flowers.
We talk for a long time. I’ve taken off the pack and am leaning on the fence with bot arms. I tell her about my life. She shares hers. I feel like the thousands of miles I’ve walked are but a splash next to her life with her loving family. As last it’s time for me to move on. I hoist the pack and shake her hand. We say our good-byes, and I turn to the road. I’ve taken a dozen steps when she shouts after me, “You know?”
I stop and turn “What?” I ask. “Isn’t it nice to run into a friend once in a while?” Yes, I think it is.
Announcement of Listentoearth.org
It’s 2020, a new decade and a new start for Musicians United to Sustain the Environment. MUSE was cofounded in 1993 by Craig Wager and Jim. Along with Joyce Rouse, MUSE supported many environmental efforts and recognized many eco musicians. After Jim’s death, the scholarship fund was started and hosted by MUSE, but it felt as though MUSE needed a new direction. Now, with much time and dedication by Randilyn Stoltz, Traci Hickson and Mark Stoltz, we are excited to let you know about Listen to the Earth. In another newsletter we will tell you more about Listentoearth.org.
The Kid for the Wild Scholarship Fund will be administered under LtE.org by the end of 2020. For now, we are coming close to the deadline for applications to receive funding for a scholarship. If you are interested in applying for this to help fund an experience in the natural world or know a young person who might be interested in this kind of experience, please pass this information along. The deadline for applications is coming soon, Feb 15.
The goal of this scholarship is to provide an opportunity for youth to experience the outdoors in ways that may change their lives. The scholarship supports opportunities that open minds, build self-confidence, develop understanding, appreciation and further stewardship for the natural world.
For more information visit:
Words to ponder:
Preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known. Carl Sagan
Man’s heart away from nature becomes hard. Standing Bear
The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep. Robert Frost
If you are interested in Jim’s music, it is
available from CD Baby.
If you would like to order by mail, send a check or money order to:
Wild Wind Foundation
PO B 160477 Big Sky, MT 59716
All the proceeds from music sales go to the Kid for the Wild Scholarship Fund.
If you are interested in making a tax deductible donation to the Kid for the Wild Scholarship fund, please send a check made to “Kid for the Wild Scholarship” and send to address above. Thanks so much.