Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"The Frog Alchemist" - joy_found

TITLE: The Frog Alchemist
ARTIST: Joy Found
EBAY ID: joy_found

Why I'm using my creativity to save the rainforest ...

The ACEO Endagered Species theme week challenge appealed to me because I have been seeking the best place to put my energies to help the environment. As a family, we recycle, and compost, and garden, and nurture a wide host of wildlife on our acreage but I knew I had to do more. I do my best to be a living teacher, and teach by example with my kids and everyone I encounter, and I just didn't feel like I was doing enough with all the crisis our earth is facing.

When I was invited on board to help facilitate promotion of the Quilt due to my experiences with the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan fundraisers, I was thrilled. When you put out a request to the Universe, I find that you may not get what you expect, but do get exactly what you need, and this project to Save the Rainforest an acre at a time is in perfect synchronicity with my ACEO work and desire to "do more".

A few weeks before the challenge my sons and I had been picking black raspberries and to our joy were greeting by hundreds of bounding baby frogs. We captured about a hundred of them and released them speedily into our various herb and vegetable gardens we've planted around the home. It was a brilliant frog parade, and we had much fun introducing these fabulous creatures to our personal sanctuaries. Each of us has created our own meditation garden we visit daily, and many of the frogs have stayed to become inhabitants nestled in the rocks among the sedum and sunflowers, and other natural structures.

So, you may wonder why the Alchemist Frog? Well, with the preponderance of frogs on our property I began thinking that it was entirely within the realm of possibility that one day human beings would simply be material in jars to be studied by evolved frogs. As a species, humankind seems hell bent on destroying nature, and I firmly contend that the planet was here long before we were and will continue long after we are gone. That said, I would like it to be here, healthy, beautiful, and strong for long into the future. So, like the many frogs we saw that day, I am striving to leave a light footprint, with a strong message that the world is connected, and as we destroying one ecosystem in the name of "progress" we are likely destroying many opportunities for discovering ways to better our existence without harming the existing flora and fauna.

Mankind is not patient. I am trying to be patient, and realize that while I cannot change the entire world, I may be able to save a small portion of it. So, I contribute my art, and my time to help purchase Rainforest acreage. I just hope my efforts are timely enough, and that through the sale of this quilt our ACEO group will effect a positive change on the environment, and raise awareness of the need for everyone to "do more" and "do better".

We've decided to dedicate our fundraising donations to the Cosanga Valley Project. This is an area of exceptional biodiversity in Ecuador, where many of the plant species are endemic, or restricted to this area, including an astonishing variety of orchids, bromelaids, ferns and trees. Mammal species include the mountain tapir, ocelot and puma, and the area is home to 310 bird species, including 30 species of hummingbirds. The Cosanga Valley also hosts a variety of rare species such as the Peruvian Antpitta, Bicolored Antvireo and "San Isidro Owl" that is regularly found only in the Cosanga Valley.

Even though this Rainforest region is across the world from me, I think of it each morning as I sit and drink my tea looking at the beauty of my Baldans Kaleidoscope orchid, and watching the hummingbirds drink from the feeder (we have seven who visit us regularly this year). We are connected, all of us, all living things. This is such a simple truth, and with this ACEO quilt our group places that truth in the hearts of the artist's who have contributed. I hope if you've read to the end of this entry that you recognize this truth as well, and you are now willing to "do more" to help save the Rainforest and work in your own way to sustain life on earth.