Thursday, April 22, 2021

Happy Earth Day!

Michele Savikko Bilyeu:  

"I was 20 years old for the very first earth day and a thousand miles away from home and family in college. Much was happening all around me. It was incredibly new and exciting. 

Every single day, every single moment was alive and breathing with so many, many new things, new experiences,  new emotions and most of all new acceptances and learnings.

To be this very quiet, very deep and happy and always smiling young person--still a girl truly-- and not yet feeling the beingness of coming into womanhood. To be alive and welcoming and so very excited by even the newness of tiny things was surreal yet always just my "new normal" for then.

Because the next day brought newer experiences, newer new normals. Normal didn't mean anything at all even if i knew what normal was supposed to mean for me. It was easy to accept that i was not anyone else's "normal". I was me and i loved the blessing of this huge huge gift of going off into this very,  very different new world.  

Growing up in an isolated and land locked part of Alaska where just flying south to the lower 48 was like entering a different world and flying in was considered the most dangerous approach and landing in the U.S. with only the pilot's visual abilities providing access to conditions below we just did all things bravely.

Qne didn't question or really even fear the experience just the roar of things coming to life and taking off and into new horizons We would just do, just cope, just accept each and every new experience as it was.

I should have been afraid but it didn't enter my awareness. I was raised with challenges and obstacles and the unknown--even death simply by riding "out the road" with my dad in his rattle trap old company truck was that day, the best, most exciting thing in the world. Especially if he had the money to buy us each a frozen treat out of the freezer chest at the grocery store!

We had 25 miles of road to to get to the end of what i should have seen as the end of my world. But i didn't. We reached the end of that old gravel road and it was exciting and accepted and enjoyed that as 25 miles was considered a huge amount of driving. 

Then we turned around and came back. There was only one way to do that with no alternate roads of any kind yet available. Yet the ride back gave me a up close and personal view of the other side of the road so even that became new and exciting!

I realize now how amazing that life was for me. My whole world was based on the earth, my earth as i knew her. It was living and thriving and surviving but without fear in nature. We were taught where the bears came out, where we had to be alert and careful and what to do if one charged us or attacked us.

I was never afraid to go there with my family as we did every 2 weeks. It was where we picked wild blueberries and the only place we had to dispose of the family garbage.

Doing brave things in nature and relishing and being excited and filling myself up with her breathing, living, ever changing energies just was. Feeling the existence of other earth beings as alive and part of me and all there was..that just was. 

I was curious about ancient burial grounds of the old native ones and felt them around me. Now i can see and feel the emotion known as fear that i should have felt, should have not perhaps been drawn to or not chosen to open to. Nothing bad happened when I did. 

It was just very very curious and different and i wondered if it was "real" or part of my amazing inner life of my own creative imaginings!

The earth was a part of all of us. The winds and the sky and ocean seas and rivers and lakes and waterfalls and the mountains rising on both sides of my world in between all things-- and absolutely all and nothing else--but all of life as one. "

To celebrate "earth day" at age 20  (51 years ago!) wasn't a blip on the radar of my life in my memories  I probably just wondered why people in the "south" needed to to create a specific day to celebrate what always just was!'

Happy Birthday Great Mother. Happy Birthday yesterday, today and all of your tomorrows!

My homemade "earth day" pins from the original symbol for it from that era. Felt with a safety pin backing.

I handed them out to friends and family when we marched down around the Salem Capitol area a few years ago during all of our big marches for earth, science and women. 

A lady my age came up to me, recognizing my pin and said "I remember those! Never thought I'd see that again! Haha! 

I was delighted so delighted that I forgot to offer her one of 3 spares in my pocket! Ah youth and memory. Wherefore art thou? Happy to remember as much as I do and still be able to write about them and blog on a cell phone without a household wifi system any more!

And yes, I made my embroidered peasant blouse as well. Sold it for a couple of dollars at a garage sale at my kids elementary school "Covered Playground Sale" many decades ago with another even nicer long sleeve one I'd made. Oh how I wish I had them now. 

(No, but I do still have a dozen or more of my own home sewn double polyester maternity outfits from 1975 instead!  All immaculate preserved in our attic!!   Hahahaha! 

 Earth Day Background in History and Deed:

Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands


O'Quilts said...

xxxooo and more

Mariarose said...

Happy to have found you - again - after so many years - peace be with you and happy spring and happy creating. (an AAQI quilter and Alz blogger.)

Michele Bilyeu said...

Oh Maria Rose! I am so happy too! I love my AAQI/Alzheimer's bloggers and remember you so very well!

Marilyn McLeod @ Pink Paper Cottage said...

What a beautiful and interesting post and part of your life's story! I loved reading it.. you are truly and child of the earth in so many ways. What a history you have! I hope all is well with you. I haven't done much sewing or quilting for awhile. We have a new little fabric shop in town which I love to visit.. and hope I get inspired from her beautiful quilts. I do so much want to make some quilts to give away as I have so much fabric that I will never use otherwise. I still have a "charity quilt" that was given to me when my son was in the hospital, to wrap him up in when he passed away. I treasure that quilt and those who lovingly made it. Blessings to you... Marilyn