The evolution of resistant bacteria is happening and creating what are commonly called "superbugs" effectively becoming drug-resistant due to overuse of Triclosan and other antimicrobials. The students understood the lesson, though we all left with even bigger questions, and little we can do about the expanded presence than to use plain soap with effort as we wash and hope the general public will do the same and discourage the use of products containing antibacterial agents. My dad died with a drug resistant strain of TB and many others are and will die from diseases we used to have antibiotics to treat.
Children from the Boys and Girls Club joined Kelda and her daughter Gela at the LEAD Agency garden. They sowed lettuce seeds this week, poppy seeds and mustard last week. They planted potatoes and added more soil to the potato box plants. The children took turns with shovels and small tools. They loosened the soil, learned the difference between grass and onions while weeding the onion patch and found WORMS, glorious worms, they even found a real worm hole! They celebrated every roly poly and what I always called grubs they found "gross." They left happy with their experiences and so was I. What a joy to be outside with children as they learn to enjoy experiencing life in the garden.
One hundred years ago a marvelous bridge was built in Washington, D.C. to honor the bison which at that time had been hunted to the brink of extinction in America, and to allow people to see the size and stature of these animals, four bronze cast buffalo sculptures by artist Alexander Phimister Proctor stand on the Dumbarton Bridge, so we might never forget them. The bison are making a comeback and with the stewardship of tribes in our area, we are able to see them grazing on the prairie in Ottawa County.
Years ago after a visit at the Wheelwright Museum in Santa Fe, we were gifted with an old bison hide which I kept until it began to deteriorate, as in dust into dust. I carried it outside and laid it upon the ground in a field I am sure he or his compadres had once run. I know this since on a portion of my land, we have a buffalo wallow, one of the few permanent markings on the tall grass prairie the buffalo left behind.
This spring Congress has passed the National Bison Legacy Act, naming the bison as a “historical symbol of the United States” and establishes it as the nation’s landmark mammal, on a par with the bald eagle as a symbol of the nation.
I thought back about those sculptures on the bridge and their purpose so we would never forget the majesty and size of the once prolific creatures. In the future will we have bridges with robins and their worms, frogs or others now on the endangered species list? Will we have deer statues lining the bridges posed to leap out into traffic so we will remember? Will committing their images to bridges ensure they too may come back like the bison?
Bridges will continue to be important links from our past to what our future brings. Much like the Recycle Tar Creek Bike Ride took us across bridges for the two mile and for the 25 mile rides. Last week brought riders, volunteers, site interpreters together. Those bridges will be our link to the future Tar Creek. We are grateful to all who rode and all who made it possible. We will cross those bridges again, you can bet on it.
Reflecting on the week and notice of the new status of the bison and knowing we need children to love what's left in this world if we hope they will rise up to protect it, made me think of the marvelous moment when the worms were found in the soil in the LEAD Agency's garden and the gentle way they were moved and returned to the soil. These children who found those worms may remember that moment, too. And with that, perhaps the hope of the world.