As we close 2014, two celebrations need to be shared. Both affect the way I think about our world, our land, and the need to conserve and follow good practices that protect and nurture. One is a glimpse into purpose and passion and leaves a message I wish many would heed.
First, a celebration for the life of Ben Logan, a disciple of Aldo Leopold, the great conservationist who himself was a disciple of Gifford Pinchot. Pinchot was a close friend of Teddy Roosevelt and together they were responsible for the creation of National Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, WI, USA. Therefore, Logan was influenced by Leopold who was influenced by Pinchot. The point: a commitment by all three to preserving the land, without change, for posterity, for our children, our children's children, and so on.
Ben Logan wrote The Land Remembers. It was first published in 1975. His images resonate with readers:
"Once you have lived on the land, been a partner with its moods, secrets, and seasons, you cannot leave. The living land remembers, touching you in unguarded moments, saying 'I am here, you are part of me.'
When this happens to me, I go home again, in mind or in person, back to a hilltop world in Southwestern Wisconsin. This is the story of that farm and its people. That land is my genesis. I was born there, created by the land and I am always there even though I have been a wanderer."
And so The Land Remembers begins. While Logan was a wanderer, traveling extensively throughout the world, he always returned to "that farm" in Wisconsin. He finally settled on the farm in the mid-eighties and stayed there until he died at 94 in September of this year.
The Land Remembers is poetic. It is gracious and gentle and stern, like the land, and celebrates what we have inherited and the need for us to protect and use in a sustainable fashion.
The second celebration is recognition of a woman I have known for many years, Suzanne Zaccone. I listened to her acceptance speech when she was awarded the prestigious R. Stanton Avery Lifetime Achievement Award. This award recognizes a leader of the label industry, someone who gives back and leads by example. Suzanne's remarks left nary a dry eye. They were deep and certainly demonstrated the reason she was deserving of this recognition. She gave us eight of her favorite life lessons, whittled down out of hundreds. I won't repeat all of them, just the ones that were personal to me:
You don't have to have a dream...