When we choose to stay in one place we connect more deeply with ancestors, and ground in our ability to give back to that place. This connection and the choice to stay, opens the heart across time. Some of my ancestors came over from Poland with knowledge in building ovens to burn coal, worked in mines, and built those ovens in the foothills of what settlers called Mt. Rainier. Some of my ancestors brought plant knowledge from Italy and grew gardens that helped feed people during the Great Depression. The knowledge they brought from one place began a connection to this new land. Generations later, my father worked to clean up soils in the Northwest contaminated with all sorts of chemicals and minerals, and perhaps some of the carbon and fertilizer that was contributed by previous generations.
My father’s work helped me realize that it feels good to clean up after yourself, across time. Just as I have benefited from my ancestors’ choices to immigrate to this place, I may also be a part of helping to clean up the toxins they contributed to lands and people here. I am dedicated to cleaning up and giving back more than I receive from lands that have sustained generations of my family. With loving intention I hope to foster cleaner waters, soils, and rich livelihood for all living and non-living beings here. Milling about the places where my ancestors chose to live, I feel connection to land and my resolve to care for her deepens.