When I started, my children were seven and five years of age.
I wrote a column every week back then and my children, the daft things they did, and my wild reactions were frequent fodder for my writings.
As they grew older though, they forbade me to mention them at all. That’s OK because I was more into politics, spirituality and environmental protection by then.
Once in a while though, I would sneak in a teenage reference that mirrored nature.
For example, when my young teenager got mad at me for worrying about where he was and what he was doing, I told him sometimes I wished I didn’t care about him.
“If we were Jack rabbits,” I explained, “I’d be done with you fifteen years ago.”
I went on to write this same protective momma bear attitude spilled over into my desire to protect the native prairie grassland and foothills forest from destruction.
Pretty much everything I wrote ended up with either an analogy to nature or its injury by the unconscious Man.
Wait a minute, they still do. Why?
Because most attitudes haven’t evolved fast enough. I’m counting on the next generation to free themselves from the bonds of cultural mind slavery, out-dated religious dogma, and the attitude nature is bad and mankind is always right.
I sometimes come upon my Sunny South News columns in a file and stop to read one or two.
I like to know what I was thinking 10 or 20 years ago. It’s almost as though I have kept a formal journal about where my mind goes when I write. I’m only allowed around 600 words but I often end up with one or two thousand and I have to cut, cut, cut. The things I cut out usually end up on a blank page for a new column idea. Like sour dough starter, or Friendship cake, or a productive plant like the Hen and Chicks — you can always cultivate more ideas.
People used to say not to write about politics or religion. But I say, what else is as interesting?
I love the environment and nature. Politics and religion have had quite an adverse effect on our water, air, and soil. How do we bring attention to the destruction of God’s Nature without shining a light on our sins?
Somewhere along the line, we have to start admitting we are guilty and go and sin no more. So far, around here anyway, most people are focused on making their millions and to hell with clean water, breathable air and tree huggers. The money goes towards buying politicians and making or breaking laws that suit the suits.
The Sunny South News has given me the opportunity to shuffle thoughts around and put them in little 600 word story packets over 25 years. I have no idea if anything I’ve said has struck a chord or helped somebody out.
Once in a while, I meet someone who mentions a good one they cut out and sent to a relative who needed to hear it, or maybe another who has it stuck on her own fridge to remind herself.
Even I have the “Letting Go of Stuff” column stuck on my basement office wall. It reminds me things in this little house have to go OUT, not come IN.
But now, I have a decision to make.
Should I try for 26 years? That’s a nice even number.
As long as oxygen gets to my brain and there are issues of importance to digest, maybe I’ll keep cooking up my half-baked thoughts.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks Debby for 25 years. We hope you try for another 25 years with your words of wisdom. Keep up the great work.