Dear Partners in Green,

This week we had a hint of Spring; the appearance of a Robin, the tiny blue flower of the Vinca appearing beneath my maple tree. And the springing forward of our clocks just adds to my gratitude that winter may be behind us, and spring is anxiously waiting in the wings.

I appreciate this particular changing of the seasons and what it brings: the beauty, the fragrance, the light and the lifting of the spirits.

I appreciate the natural world. Appreciate, a term I don’t use often enough in the context of our ecology, ecology coldly defined as the branch of biology that deals with relations of organisms to one another and their physical surrounding.

And what of this word, this verb, appreciate? The definition is “to understand the worth or importance of something or someone: to admire and value something or someone.”

And the Latin etymology of appreciation? From 1650, “to esteem or value highly,” from Latin “to rise in value,” the sense “of being fully conscious to us.”

Would the opposite of appreciate be “to take for granted,” “to value too lightly,” “to assume something is to be expected,” “to fail to appreciate something that should be valued?”

Well, you get my point.

How can we develop or strengthen our appreciation for our natural world? How can we better become its advocates and protectors?

One of the ways is by gardening, getting your hands in the dirt, feeling the texture of the pedals, getting closeup and personal with the insects. And maybe, most important, becoming a model for our children or grandchildren. Yes, often we have to be taught.

What else might we do? Walk slowly, or saunter as Henry David Thoreau advised us. Awaken our senses: scent, touch, taste. Or go for a hike, and take binoculars, relax and just be. And my favorite, write a poem about that daffodil, or that robin or that cloud. Simply going through our senses: taste, touch, scent, sound, sight, and how it makes you feel. It’s not about perfection, but connection.

And maybe it is writing an Ode or even a eulogy.

Sorry folks, but love really is the answer.

We have to fall in love with our natural world, and love means appreciation, commitment, responsibility and even, and of course, sacrifice.

And these, in fact, lead to empathy, but that is for another day.

Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.

by Elizabeth Frigard

the crusty
old Earth
drips into
each crevice
Its perfume
the wind
their songs,
its fingers
The world
in color
in anticipation
the explosion
into vernal
the true
miracle is
the healing
of a soul
when light
and warmth
the shades
and rouse
the heart.

From Thoughts on a Thursday Afternoon

Thank you for being on this journey.

Wishing peace and health to you and your loved ones.

Till next time,


Elizabeth Frigard, Thoughts on a Thursday Afternoon (Xlibris, 2023) 4. (Available in most bookstores.)