Nature can teach us so much about our world, about its glory and its anguish. In nature we find so many lessons about hardiness, resilience, triumph and, yes, destruction and death. The British poet William Wordsworth captured this sentiment in one line of his profound 18th-century poem entitled The Tables Turned: “Come forth into the light of things, let Nature be your teacher.” And that’s what we hear from Meghan Elizabeth Kallman.
Meghan Elizabeth Kallman is a Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Brown University. She is a musician, a climate activist, co-founder of the Prison Op/Ed Project, and teaches at the Rhode Island state prison.
The famed cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead once opined, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Such sentiments often conjure up images of sweeping social change. But as we hear from Diana Jackson in this encore essay, a small group of committed people can also have a profound impact on the quality of life in our own little corner of the world here in the Ocean State.
Diana Harmon Jackson is an artist, educator, political activist, and, she reports, lover of people, especially kids and older adults. Her passions are family, friends, music, art, and, as we've just heard embedded in her eloquent words, nature.
Conjure up in your mind one of those lovely, bucolic Rhode Island days where you are lounging on the shore overlooking Narragansett Bay, a sumptuous meal laid out on a blanket, and all of a sudden, bam, your gourmet meal has been invaded by a parade of ants. Or perhaps you are gazing at a beautiful array of birds nibbling at your backyard feeder when, bam, some dastardly squirrel chases your feathered friends away. Don't we just detest these common annoyances, those pesky creatures that dare to invade our tranquil moments? Mike Fink tells us that such common irritations are in the eye of the beholder.