Gunflint Green Up

I remember last year- Saturday, May 5th, 2007 we woke up ready to scurry around and prepare for an upcoming season when the Ham Lake fire interrupted our busy important plans. Nearly one year later, —we woke on Saturday May 2nd ready to scamper around and help with the big Gunflint Green Up tree planting event in our neighborhood. 2-3 inches of snow were on the ground. OH NO! We had to laugh, even as we sympathized for those who had spent months preparing to make the event absolutely perfect What now???
We were reminded AGAIN that we don’t have all that much control—(how is it that we can forget that, living where we live?—so dependent upon weather, and ice and wind….) We’re like hamsters in a little wheel, our tasks can seem so very significant…and here we were—what else could we do but let it snow?

At 9:30, the people came. Over slippery roads, in the snow. I understand more than 500, people of all ages, came to different sites along the Gunflint Trail.
And we worked, and the snow stopped, and the sun came out.
Our planting group had to cross a stream to get to our section of woods—we constructed a temporary bridge (my favorite part). Then we scurried around our assigned acres, planting white and red pines. On Saturday night, when all of the people gathered, it was an extraordinary experience to connect with so many who love these woods. I looked at all of these people who spent their day volunteering in this neighborhood, and I was grateful to be a piece of it. It felt as though we accomplished an awesome thing, bigger than all of us, even bigger than the sum of all of us. I was proud that my kids could be part of that. We can hope that in 100 years there will be a legacy for them, some of the 50,000+ white/red pines that we planted yesterday. But really, we don’t have control over that. The experience, the honor to be ingredients of this thing, that was enough.

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