Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake – A Return to Simple this Summer

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake – A Return to Simple this Summer
Copyright ©2018, ElizaBeth Coira


There’s nothing like walking in the warm summer sun, through towering mountains and blooming fields to set the heart right. Welcome to summer at long last; and a simpler, easier, freer way of life! Don’t you just love to wander the shores, meadows, and forests surrounding our lovely little watering hole; bidding good day to all the tall, cheerful old souls; as well as to quacking, new little fuzzy ones, splashing gingerly about the shoreline. What a joy to admire the great beauty and blossoming of Mother Nature’s heart in the season of summer. Surely this truly exquisite masterpiece we live in is a labor of…Love…not just logic or reason…though the head and the hand certainly help put the will of the heart into motion. But Mother Nature could never be confined, nor defined by the simple terms of human workings. No—twinkling stars, sparkling stones, all gifts of creation indicate a vastness much greater than our own human existence.

What does summer’s beauty mean to you? Perhaps the peaceful shelter of friendship and laughter? Or the squeaky barks of tiny brown tree squirrels? The high pitched chirps from way up high of an osprey preparing for fishing? Maybe you think of curious little kiddos spying on a spry Mr. Robin Redbreast?  Or the swooshing acrobatics of swallows on parade skimming the lake for dinner? Do you welcome the blessings of occasional rain showers? Give thanks for the soothing shade of trees? Wrap yourself in the warmth of sunshine kisses? Giggle at the nibble of a fish at your foot, before the shimmering little stunners shimmy away? Have you stopped to sniff the wild of white daisies? Danced in the magic of floating cottonwood seeds? Suspended belief, all while peeking under the umbrellas of spritely, tiny mushrooms?

Thank goodness we are able to be, exist, breathe in and out, and witness such beauty as Loon Lake in the summer. Thank goodness we can wander Mother Nature’s hills and forests, stretch out our arms in her meadows in bloom. Thank goodness we can walk her good green paths, all while illumined by a bright blue sky. Thank goodness we can skip, swing, and twirl to the sounds of birdsong and wind through the pines.

What would we do if we couldn’t see and feel green…breathe in the blue…rest in the brown? What would we do without this beautiful planet…Mother Nature’s generous gifts that cost us nothing?

May we never know…and ever care… for this exquisite playground we’ve been granted, gifted, entrusted. May the gifts of Mother Nature’s Love show us the way beyond the trappings of ego and prisons of greed. May this summer bring you peace, warmth, kindness, renewal, and a gentle reminder… that the simple shift within to Love, Awareness, Gratitude…all open the way to a bright new world.

ElizaBeth Coira is a writer, poet, consultant, facilitator, and eastern Washington neighbor. You can enjoy more of her poetry and photography at ElizaBethCoira.com or HomeGrownSojourner.com.

Celebrate! Life & Times at Loon Lake: The Gift of Clean Air

Please enjoy my column for the May-June 2018 Edition of the Loon Lake Times

Copyright ©2018, ElizaBeth Coira

The sun has finally returned to brighten our days. The swallows sing and swoop overhead. The coots have taken over the lake, though the heron still finds there’s plenty of space. It’s spring—really SPRING—at last here at Loon Lake! The warmer temperatures invite back more neighbors and friends. And at last I can rejoice in opening the windows—life just feels better when it’s all aired out!

Once upon a time, living in cities, I had to be more careful about opening my windows. The pollution of traffic, cigarette smoke, and a hazy industrial grime threatened my joy, health, and love of life in the fresh, clean air. Though many find it hard to understand the allure of a more rural, quiet existence; the clean air, serenity, and gift of relative silence have all done wonders for my state of being. But I wonder, do we realize, even appreciate Mother Nature’s inherent gifts like the fresh air we depend on essentially to be? It’s a gift that so many in the cities long for, and many will unfortunately never know. It’s the type of gift we must honor and treasure, respect, protect, and preserve for all.

Among the benefits of airing out our homes is the insurance of greatly improved indoor air quality, not only a health enhancer, but in some cases a life saver. Moving to this region, I was surprised to discover that both Stevens and Spokane counties are among the “hottest regions” in the nation for radon gas. Radon gas is invisible, odorless, tasteless, and naturally occurring; it comes from the breakdown of uranium in the earth. This gas, however, can become trapped and build up over time in our closed-up houses, especially after a long winter. Long-term exposure to this radioactive gas has been directly linked to lung cancer and certain types of sarcomas (cancerous tumors). You can check your indoor air quality, and specifically radon levels, with testing kits available from most hardware stores. And some in this region have found it necessary to install ventilation systems. But one of the easiest, cheapest ways to improve your indoor air quality, at least in this area, is to simply open your windows. Other sources of indoor air pollution with links to various cancers include a buildup of gasses from cleaning products, pesticides, herbicides, and also from clothing that’s been treated with dry-cleaning chemicals. Carbon monoxide and dioxide, nitrogen oxides, dust, and mold can also cause serious, life-threatening effects. When in doubt, air it out!

Of course opening you windows is all contingent upon whether you or your neighbors are burning anything. According to the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the following list of items are banned from being burned, at all times, in all places, due to public health and safety concerns:  Continue reading

Duty ~ By ElizaBeth Coira

Is it my duty
Obligation
Responsibility
To put on
A pretty face for you

Simply because I’m a woman

As though my life
Weren’t meant for more
Than the shadowy
Fantasies
Of others

As though my life
Weren’t my own
Beyond what a man
Would pay for

No my friends
That moment has passed
Of social sickness
Putrid illness

At least in my mind
But what’s true for you
Do you buy and consume
The old bloody ruse

How funny
How entrenched
The sins of old
Designed to confine us
And subjugate

One from another
Equal lovers
Partners make
For very poor soldiers

Converts and subjects
Free thinking
Free loving
Free wielding
Free me
Free you
For we

Are meant for more
Than such trifles
Distractions
Pawns
In a muddled
Man-made game

I’m looking forward to sharing this piece, and a couple others, TONIGHT, at the Spokane FemFest–Feminist Art Festival! Checkout this clip of our recent interview on Good Day Spokane, highlighting the event! And join us in Spokane, Washington tonight, 6 pm at the Bartlett, if you can!