Finding Ourselves

From the “Find it at Viles Arboretum!” card deck by Serena Sanborn

“When traveling quickly, they will hold their tails well above the snow, but if they are walking, you will note the distinctive trail left by their tail.” Track of a Mouse card by Serena Sanborn

Depending on your perspective, it’s been a rough few months. For some, it’s been a rough few years. For too many others, it’s been a rough few decades. Something many of us are slowly opening up to is the perspective of others. For many others, not so much.

Yesterday as I sat grappling with the news and a weekly commentary on it by a young news team the above card came in the mail. It is part of a deck of cards done by a local artist and naturalist. Someone I respect immensely. I poured a cup of coffee and sat down to enjoy a break from the reality of our country.

Looking through the beautiful illustrations and reading the perfect scientific explanations on the back side I realized, “This is reality.” There could be nothing more real than the workings of our natural world. I felt that evasive feeling again, hope.

This coming decade is a crucial one for our planet. It is going to take an immense amount of work to shift leaders who are beholden to the fossil fuel industry to a place where they are brave and bold and moral enough to do what scientists and indigenous leaders have been telling us for years, leave it in the ground. As I read an article about a new notion to address climate change by shooting light reflecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere to reflect the sun’s light back into space I found myself shaking my head at the lengths we will go to to keep our addiction to fossil fuels alive.

This is going to be a long haul. After 4 years of giving free reign to the oil industry (not that they have ever been hauled in) it is going to take an immense amount of organization and effort to do what needs to be done to leave our children and children’s children a home planet that is habitable. A planet where they can take cards such as these and search for tracks of little field mice to see if they were running or walking.

A friend and I have been knitting a lot of hats lately. Our small attempt to make a difference in someone’s life. An old friend posted a photo of some baby moccasins she made for her new grandchild. They were lovely. A local shop set up a section of handmade items that are for sale for the holiday season. The fleece angels spoke to me. As I was walking through this section first thing on a cool Saturday morning I found myself realizing, yet again, how important it is going to be for us to take this slow and steady. That old saying, “This is a marathon not a sprint,” came back to mind. As a sprinter in my youth, I have always found this notion to be a tad difficult to absorb. But absorb it we must. If we are going to stay healthy and strong while we stand up against such intense evil power, we will need to be physically and emotionally strong. So I knit.

What kind of trails will our generation leave for the next? Will we see our “tails” or not? It really is up to us; all of us.

As always, in solidarity and peace,


PS – Thank you Serena for inspiring this writing and for creating such a lovely set of cards. I do hope they wind up in all our classrooms.

To order your own set of cards visit Serena’s Etsy shop at:


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