To my daughter, Olivia.
You were born on a misty November morning when clouds flowed in and around the tall firs. If you read this in November I hope you are looking out a window at the same scene, because that would mean the efforts, the phone calls, letters to our representatives, the marches, and the tree-plantings we have done have helped heal, conserve, and honor the land that nourishes us.
To you who said on your way to college, I don’t know if I could ever leave the Northwest, it is so much a part of me, I hope you are still here among the Western Cedars, Douglas Firs, Alders, and the Coho, and Chinook.
Aristotle wrote, “Nature does nothing without purpose or uselessly,” and I hope you have absorbed into your beautiful body his wise words and understand that the Earth needs you as much as you need the Earth.
If you are here now, I hope all people along the Columbia River understand they are connected to each other and all the plants and animals who live close to its banks, and the banks of the Hood, Rogue, Umpqua, Elwah, Skagit, Nooksak, Klamath, Smith, Snake, Colorado, and all rivers east and west of the mighty Mississippi. We are one, circling the sun. I hope in your time compassion has won over cruelty and our love of home sustains us.
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