Everglades Day and Majorie Stoneman Douglas- April 7, 2019

Shero. Activist. Inspiration. Legacy.

All words to describe a woman I grew up revering as a modern goddess, in the sense of maternalism for wetlands.

Today, is Everglades Day and more importantly, Majorie Stoneman Douglas’ birthday. I learned about her greatness while in elementary school. Everything I know today about the importance of the Florida Everglades is a combination of living here and reading the work of Majorie.

While in law school, I wrote a paper about restoring the Florida Everglades. Majorie is one of the people who inspired that vision, but also brought to light why we MUST protect this wetland. Today, I would like to honor her by asking you to donate to the Friends of the Everglades Fund. They continue to fight for protection of the wetlands.

The Everglades is a one of a kind ecosystem, found only in Florida. Yes, there are other wetlands. Yes, there are other marshes. However, there is only one Florida Everglades. An ecosystem filled with so much biodiversity. Where the limestone and the aquifers are vital to the survival of Florida’s fresh drinking water. The animals and plant life depend on the restoration of the flow south.

The mangroves of the everglades acts of the first sign of defense when a hurricane wants to make landfall. Those roots are meant to dig deep into the ground and act as a natural barrier. The animals work together to carve the paths of the river and it flows and brings forth all the nutrients for plants and animal to survive.

Rapidly, we have destroyed the Everglades. Taking more and more land for development. By removing more water. Adding invasive plant and animal species which are destroying this once vibrant ecosystem. Lack of water flow from Lake Okeechobee is stifling the “River of Grass”, making it a barren wasteland.

The history stems all the way to the Army Corp of Engineers. I could sit here and talk about their involvement and the fact they destroyed the everglades creating all of these canals for waterfront properties. Also, the other culprits are those involved in “Big Sugar”, which is heavily lobbied here in Florida. Sugar = Poison. Yes, you read that correctly. Did you know the US subsidizes the price of sugar, just like they do gasoline! Mind-blowing. The East Agricultural Area is located right outside of Lake Okeechobee and that is where the water must be restore. Dilemma, that water is tainted and polluted. This is actually also the cause of the lovely Red Tide, I think you’ve heard of it. (The dumping of polluted water of the east and west coast of Florida, pouring into the estuaries. – FYI estuaries is where ALL baby sea life start, great start, poisoned water, but I digress).

What will you do to change your impact? We must stand up and speak to our government. Hold them accountable for the environmental atrocities and reckless negligence forced upon the Everglades.

I am doing my part, now it is your turn!

img_7046

 

Sometimes We just Have to Let Go…

This post is a little more personal today. Especially, since it is Valentine’s Day. A day that is supposed to represent love, however, love should be expressed everyday that you are present on this earth. Love is not just felt from one human to another, a significant other, or family, but friendship too. Love is felt through all aspects of life. Some people even love inanimate objects, fictional characters, a person from history and most importantly, animals and nature.

The love of friendships is one of the most difficult loves. As the saying goes, “friends come and go”. Friends are supposed to be people that you care about, you care about their success, their happiness and health. Friends are the people you choose to be a part of your life. These people become your extended family. They make the choices to stay actively involved and you make the choice to keep them in your life.

However, as time moves forward, so do people. People most definitely change. We adapt through our experiences, both good and bad. Some people become more loving and forgiving, while others close up and no longer want to trust. Life is an eternal balance, one we have to live for ourselves. The balance of friendship is not the easiest. Some people get wrapped up in their significant others, while others are wrapped up in their work. These circumstances change the way we perceive ourselves and the people we once knew.

Sometimes these changes do not come at a time where we would like them to be. Nor do they come with a manual on how to accept the changes. Friends may sometimes think they have your best interest at hand, but may not execute it in the right way. Or they are just dealing with their own battles and are projecting their issues in their advice to you.

If you are currently going through a struggle in your life and the people you once depended on are not there for you. It is okay. They may have served their purpose in your life at a different point. You cannot force some one to stay in your life or to love you the way they once did. You may have noticed a change in their behavior towards you and that makes you no longer want to be around them, and that is okay too.

So what if you have mutual friends, in the grand scheme of things we are adults, we are human, and we are entitled to be around only those that care to be around us. You are allowed to let go of people that were once the best people in your life. If they no longer are the person you remember or their changes are ones you do not agree with, then let go and move forward.  No one has the right to make you feel bad about your struggles, about your choices, or how you handles challenges. That is a person who needs to self reflect on their actions, maybe they will, maybe they won’t. Either way that choice is not yours to make or to dwell on. We have to do what is right by us and what will make us happy.

Our society is too focused on what other people perceive of us and we are too concerned with how to act for the sake of others. The world will not stop moving because a friendship has come to an end. If these people are meant to be in your life, your paths will cross again. If not, do not wish them ill, just send positive thoughts for their life and move forward.

Most importantly, never stop loving. Love yourself first, love and come in tune with nature, the savior of life. Through all darkness there is always light and love. Be true to yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day.