Friday, November 4, 2011


It's November now, and the snow is falling outside my window. Two weeks ago, the hawthorne and serviceberry were blazing red, the aspens and maple were glittering gold, and the members, friends and supporters of Hells Canyon Preservation Council gathered together to celebrate another year.

For the 2011 Gala, the celebration included presenting a Lifetime Achievement Award to long time local activist Loren Hughes, and adding Greg Dyson, HCPC Executive Director 2006-2011, to the HCPC Hall of Fame.

This year, with the transitions of HCPC staff (Greg Dyson and Renee Tkach) leaving,
increased challenges on forestry and wildlife issues, unsettled political climate, and an unsettled climate, I found the Gala Keynote speech by Gary Ferguson a much need reminder of why I work at HCPC.

He spoke of wilderness as expressing the basic concept of democracy.

He encouraged us to develop "the ability to live with questions".

He talked about the importance of stories of relationship - not stories of conquering - not stories of fear.

He said that throughout the world, over and over again, what shows up in every culture and tradition as what we need to live, is Mystery, Community, and Beauty.

He asked us to give a chance for beauty, community with all life, and mystery, to the young who are growing up now and in the future, in a world with increasingly less of all three.

Quotes from Gary's speech:

"Keep an active relationship with beauty"

"Celebrate the mysterious"
"Let the beauty find us and pull us where we need to go"
"Let the beauty flow through us"

"Maintain your love of life in difficult times"

The practice of hope, I think, is not an indulgence, nor a luxury, but a discipline. It is work, and hard work at that. I read once that hope is not the wish that things will get better, but the certainty that working to make it so is the only path that makes sense.

So forward into the fray, dear friends, together, in Community, with Beauty, and celebrating Mystery.

- Danae Yurgel

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