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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tree-Hugger Extrordinare

    “When the sun is warm but the breeze chilled with the end of summer, I mostly want to nap outside. Sleeping outside brings peace to my soul said the accidental tree-hugger that is me."
 – Shannon 

Hills of Kentucky 

My random Facebook status this afternoon left me feeling philosophical and thinking…could be a dangerous combination for sure... What is it about nature that talks to my soul? People are comfortable in their houses, their shelter, and their beds even, but for me, I am comfortable outside on a nice day. There is no place I would rather be.  This is not how I have always been. There was a time in my teenage years I would have said I was most comfortable at a shopping mall or driving back roads in my first car. Going even younger, I would have said I was most comfortable at home in my bedroom. My transformation to nature girl or more like nature appreciator happened mostly after I had my first son. 

Maybe it is the act of becoming a mother that brought me closer to nature, maybe it was just part of growing up, it’s hard to tell. I have always loved camping, hiking, horseback trail rides, and water, whether swimming or boating or just beach sitting. Outdoors was always about fun and doing things, being on the go. Now, outdoors is my solitude. It is where I like to be silent, to collect my thoughts. It is where I want to read a book or take a nap. I want to feel the sunshine on my skin and the breeze in my hair. I want to smell the fresh cut grass or that wonderful smell of wet after a nice rain. 

Shores of Lake Superior
This love of outdoors and nature is what got me into gardening, the turning over the earth cultivating my little plot of soil and growing food. At first, I was content with just growing food that my family would eat as it ripened. No thoughts were given to trying to preserve my bounty. In time, I realized that grocery store foods just didn’t taste as good as the ones that I grew. That lead me down a road of wanting to know what was in the food that I was serving to my family.  I am lucky that my children have always been good eaters. They enjoy eating fresh fruits and veggies far more than processed foods. Well, aside from popsicles and ice cream, but we all have our vices don’t we? 

Hiking trails in Tennessee
From being the girl who liked to shop and eat greasy pizza from a Mall cafeteria I have become a wife and mother who is greatly concerned with food and its origins. Factory farming and the overabundance of GMO foods in our food chain concerns me. I am following the campaign to label GMO’s in California and I am rooting for the Proposition 37 to pass. I hope that California leads the way to sweeping legislation requiring GMO to be put on food labels throughout the Country. I hope the corporate greed and their greatness of wealth do not win in the battle to know what is in our foods.

To eat and to feed our families is such a basic need. It dates back to before the “Common Era” or recorded time but to the act of survival of the first species. Food is a necessity and this campaign is not asking for an outlaw to GMO foods, it is instead asking for labels to be put on foods so that consumers, the American people, can choose what is best for themselves and their families. This is a basic principle and I have a hard time seeing the other side of this argument. Why is it so harmful to label the foods? I do not get the backlash at wanting labels. They already have to label for calories and ingredients, this is just one more line on the label already in place.

In the end, I find myself today, an accidental tree-hugger, accidental activist, a completely on purpose gardener and nature love. Girl evolved… Girl involved...

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To read more about this legislation, check out this site at
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