So I shared a meditation on the company of trees. But it’s more important to tell you that it’s not just my personal mythology, preferences and inclinations. It is science applicable to everybody: hanging out in the forest is good for you in many ways. You come out of the woods better than you went in. Seriously. Get the goods on it here.
During a slow sylvan saunter, if I stand still more than move, in bodily senses and in palpable transcendent essences I find reminders that nature made me to thrive among immortal woodland spirits, in refuge from the illusory blessings of merely mortal society. I cannot exceed the company of trees, nor regret deep solitude among them.
Each phase of nature, while not invisible, is yet not too distinct and obtrusive. It is there to be found when we look for it, but not demanding our attention. It is like a silent but sympathizing companion in whose company we retain most of the advantages of solitude … — Henry David Thoreau, Journal, November 8, 1858
The day after my first post on this topic, NPR did a feature story on it. Here are my favorite excerpts from the transcript, plus educational videos, infographics, law articles, brain science facts, sentencing alternatives, and more. (Get a cup of coffee and sit back. This is about 3,600 words. But lots of eye candy, too.)
Robert Siegel reports, “As the [U.S. Supreme Court] held … children are constitutionally different from adults, for purposes of sentencing, because juveniles have diminished culpability and greater prospects for reform.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on aspects of the matter in 2010 and 2012. In 2010 the court found it unconstitutional for juveniles to be sentenced to life imprisonment without parole except in cases of murder. (Kids are adults when they murder people.) In 2012, it held that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders, even for murder. In 2005 they got the bright idea that capital punishment was unfair to kids, too. Killing a kid for killing is just killing. Putting a kid away for life without possibility of parole is just revenge for something we don’t know how to cope with in other ways … but there are other ways (more on that at the end of this post)
Several species and forms of Balsamean herald the advent of Spring earlier than all others. They remind us of the unmerited gift of the life we have at Balsamea, and to live it consciously. Continue reading →
Usually I’m not keen on this kind of blog post, but I’ll try it and see if I don’t hate it next week. Actually, it is a perfect fit with my idea of a true scribblement. Just some random things coming to mind lately that probably don’t call for a post of their own, or I’m feeling too lazy to create one for each.