Ms. Goodall

Always been a great admirer of Ms. Goodall. Thought this short clip was excellent. And her anwsers below, via Brain Pickings, were fantastic as well.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Sitting by myself in the forest in Gombe National Park watching one of the chimpanzee mothers with her family.

What is your greatest fear?
That I shall be tortured and be a coward.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

What is your greatest extravagance?
Long-distance phone calls to my friends.

What is your favorite journey?
My favorite ever journey was my first trip from Nairobi City to the Serengeti to Olduvai Gorge before it was famous, when there were no roads and all the animals were there. We were in an overloaded Land Rover, four people and two Dalmatians.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
Aging skin!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My childhood companion and teacher — my dog, Rusty.

When and where were you happiest?
In the early 60s, when I was alone at Gombe with the chimpanzees.

What talent would you most like to have?
Ability to learn languages.

What is your current state of mind?
Deep concern at the state of the planet, environmental and social.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I need to be 20 years younger — there is too much to do.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Starting our youth program, Roots & Shoots, along with helping to blur the line between humans and the rest of the animal kingdom.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Knowing you have let someone down, betrayed their trust.

What is your favorite occupation?
Observing animals alone in the wilderness.

What is your most marked characteristic?

What do you most value in your friends?
Being able to share happiness and sadness and have a good laugh.

Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare, Tolkien, Mary Wesley.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Robin Hood.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother, until her death; dedicated teachers; Kofi Annan; Nelson Mandela; Muhammad Yunus.

What is it that you most dislike?
Receptions and dinners in noisy places with people talking too loud, riding in stretch limos, waste.

How would you like to die?
Peacefully and before losing my physical and especially my mental facilities.

What is your motto?
“As thy days, so shall thy strength be.”

That Goodall — one of the greatest scientists of the past century — should answer this last question with a quote from the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible and the Jewish Torah only speaks to her sensitivity to the spiritual aspect of science and her conviction that religion is useful only when and if it inspires us to do better.

Read more here! :

Planting a future : Comparison is the thief of Joy

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I was out with my mother just a few days ago, and from a distance saw someone I had gone to school with. She was very clearly married, and was pregnant with her 6th child.

Now, I’m not old. I’m 27. But I’m not married either, and my life has taken some drastic turns lately that have left me gasping from breath and hobbling through some unfamiliar terrain. I saw her, and instantly felt sadness in my heart.

She has so many of the things I want right now. Husband, babies, family, home… and the list goes on. Instantly my mind went there, and so did my heart. Without contemplating her troubles, her personal issues aside, I was looking at her in a way of: you have that, and I don’t.

I think that God has been stressing to me in my life lately that my journey is my own. I need to make my own choices, know and trust my own leadings and understandings, and not compare anyone else’s walk to my own.

Hard times happen. But I will be stronger for it. It will make me hardy, so I can weather every storm. I myself will become a stable force, others can rely on. One day when I do have children I will be wise and strong and motherly.

But that’s not for today.

I wait in expectation and joy of where I am now, comparing myself to no one. It is a hard lesson to learn. But it is the truth. Through and through.

It is from suffering that the strongest souls ever known have emerged; the world’s greatest display of character is seen in those who exhibit the scars of sorrow; the martyrs of the ages have worn their coronation robes that have glistened with fire, yet through their tears and sorrow have seen the gates of heaven. ~Chapin

Snail Mail

I am at long last, once more, sending out some snail mail. 🙂 I hit an estate sale today and purchased some very old, odd postcards that I scribbled on all afternoon before sending out into the world. Yay!

It is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time, when I was working for School Zone. But it is such a release to prepare something for someone one else, thinking only of them and what it will mean to them when they receive your message.

Getting mail is the best.


In order to grow in grace, we must spend a great deal of time in quiet solitude. Contact with others in society is not what causes the soul to grow most vigorously. In fact, one quiet hour of prayer will often yield great results than many days spent in the compay of others. It is in the desert that the dew is freshest and the air is the most pure. ~ Andrew Bonar

My thoughts on solitude have always been the same, that solitude is very important. And I believe it is even more important in today’s rushed lifestyle. I think we all idealize the thought of alone time but honestly in our hearts don’t want to take the time to be alone. We don’t want to take the time for meditation because it doesn’t feel as good as it would to be in the company of someone else.

We are social beings, this is true. But I think there is a different type of social nature that is engaged in quite meditation. Knocking on the sky, taking the time to pray and seek can restore a disturbed equilibrium, strengthen a dwindling grip, and revitalize a sapped and spent energy.

Alone time isn’t just good, it’s great. And it should be happening everyday. Give yourself 20 today. You’ll be grateful you did.

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. Luke 5:16


In the wild


Yesterday I spent most of my time in the woods with my father.

We dropped two trees and he taught me how to use a chainsaw. We spent the day sawing trees to pieces and then splitting them by hand.

The trees, once alive, now standing dead, sound like giants falling. Your heart is in your throat and you watch it tip, fear, and awe filling your senses. I respect the time it took for them to grow so big, mourn that they died, and celebrate that they will keep us warm this winter by heating our home.

I’ve always been one of those people who feels closer to God amid nature. I feel He draws nearer to me the further away I get from other folks. Not to say people are bad, because people are great.

He is just out there in the woods, in the mountains, unadulterated and ready to talk.

Working like that with my hands and body, so different from my computer work, takes me back to a different time. When work was survival. It was food, it was heat, it was what you needed to make it through a season.

It was so good for me. In so many ways.

“To the desert go prophets and hermits; through desert go pilgrims and exiles. Here the leaders of the great religions have sought the therapeutic and spiritual values of retreat, not to escape but to find reality.”

Paul Shepard, Man in the Landscape: A Historic View of the Esthetics of Nature