March 23, 2018
link to facebook link to twitter
More Stories
National Walk Out SSU loses compassionate alumna Bunnies and eggs come to Cotati Correction: Every 15 Minutes at the Ranch Haircuts and meals for homeless Traffic signal updates Cotati to get new park and ride RP residents win Miss Sonoma County and Outstanding Teen Snyder era ends at age 92 53 alleged Brown Act violations Graton Casino funds to help community projects Cotati City Council presented with awards for excellence in city budget RP’s new municipal regulations will try and curb parking problem Gov. Brown swears in newCHP Commissioner Judson Snyder, columnist Prostitution ring uncovered New RP homeless count and SR homeless camp eviction RP attempting to alleviate traffic woes TRIO works in Rohnert Park Crab feed comes to Penngrove Crash causes small gas leak Fire displaces RP residents Council approves La Plaza park for fundraiser RP City Council discusses M pool programs Schools for climate action Mother and Son Arrested for Human Trafficking and Pimping RP Council votes to extend terms Plaza shooter said to be suffering from depression Be a part of history: Penngrove to assemble time capsule Cotati gives thanks at annual awards night Two alarm fire displaces RP residents, destroys home No evil puppies, just youths going to camp Free tax prep assistance for low income residents Cotati changes cannabis cultivation regulations Sonoma County reports flu death Correction Drunk driver tries to flee scene RP confident about flooding prep SR woman killed by SMART train New businesses come to town Suspect wanted to be shot in City Center Plaza shooting Cotati-RP Unified School District makes AP District Honor Roll list Officer involved shooting: Suspect wanted to be shot by RP Public Safety officers City of Cotati: Honorary Mayor Anabel Dane RP aims to curb exposure to secondhand smoke RP approves amendment to speed up housing development Community helps TMS class reach goal Whatever happened to young newspaper carriers? CERT involvement the answer to better disaster preparedness? Wise money moves for parents under 40 2017 Home invasion: burglar arrested after entering home and committing sexual assault Holiday robbery and thefts DUI doesn’t just mean booze when behind the wheel New State laws that impact California’s law enforcement agencies New laws for California motorists Fraud Alert: Fire Debris

Jamming with nature

April 5, 2012

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir.

Earth Day turns 42 on April 22, and millions of earth’s inhabitants will gather in groups large and small throughout the month of April to celebrate the concept of environmental stewardship.

While thousands will attend outdoor music festivals and events touting ecological themes featuring social-minded speakers and artists, most observers of Earth Day will simply donate a little time and energy close to home.

Some of us will volunteer with a local organization such as the Cotati Creek Critters, helping to restore the upper reaches of the Laguna de Santa Rosa, while others will get together with neighbors and friends to clean up a local park or host a screening of an environmental documentary. Whatever the event lends to the cause we all have something to gain by participating.

The creation of Earth Day was intended to gather together the collective efforts of many individuals and communities to become part of a larger, more complex social movement in order to foster consciousness and action around various issues of the environment.

Since environmental stewardship is key in the celebration of Earth Day, this would be an excellent time to take a moment to grasp what this means to us individually. Ultimately, it comes down to each person’s own perspective and relationship with the environment and the responsibility we chose to take for its condition. While the motivations of us individually are varied, they generally focus around the desire to pass this planet on to future generations in a sustainable and healthy state.

The finer point of why stewardship is important was summed up eloquently by Chief Seattle: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”

For me, environmental stewardship is about engaging in healthy communication with the environment in an attempt to live harmoniously with it. This means, listening closely to what the earth is telling me. Since communication is a two way street, I must act on what I hear and see in order to communicate effectively. The key is to harmonize with the planet, not march to my own beat.

The word “harmony” has special and specific meaning to a musician. Even to an untrained ear, harmonies are easy to spot and understand. We don’t all necessarily have the vocabulary to explain it, but we definitely know when we hear it. We just know when something sounds right.

So, in order to live in harmony with nature, I propose we emulate the process of a musician.

First, we must pay close attention in order to understand the keys or tones that nature is already singing. Once we identify those notes and the order of them, we can make a choice as to how we will accompany them. The goal of a great musician is not to change the song, but rather, augment his or her skills around it while respecting the initial context.

Humans have a tragic history of ignoring the earth’s composition and trying to rewrite the song, and we must rewrite that behavior lest we become the history. The planet doesn’t need songwriters, it needs contributors, and environmental stewardship is central to that role.

Earth Day doesn’t have to begin or end on April 22nd like a book, movie or song. There are no margins to stewardship. The beginning and end is open-ended and completely up to you.

So, when you’re done singing happy birthday to Earth Day, carry the tune a little further and consider joining our band of stewards. We won’t care if you’re a little out of tune.

Joseph Brockhoff is an environmental studies major at SRJC, a musician, and an intern with Cotati Creek Critters. CCC will be hosting a “Trash Pick Up Day” along the Laguna de Santa Rosa channel on April 7, a Creek Stewardship Day on April 15, followed by a presentation on “Rethinking Plastics” by Stuart Moody of Green Sangha on April 20. All are welcome.