Reflections–Old Year, New Year

Most 2020 goodbyes ring with epithets on the horrors of 2020. I object. 2020 brought bad, yes, mainly due to Covid 19’s effects on the lives of masses. It also enlightened us:

-staying home makes cleaner air.

-staying home increases home gardening and thus healthier eating.

-staying home leads to a slower, more thoughtful life, to extra time with family.

-staying home reconnects us with ourselves.

2020 lead to positives that have nothing to do with Covid 19:

-increased awareness and concern for the lives of others different from ourselves.

-increased awareness that discrimination and brutality among our police exists and we need to fix it.

-increased awareness of the ever growing income gaps in our society.

Covid 19 did bring:

-an increased awareness of the impacts of any pandemic and that we must prepare ourselves because there will be more.

-an increased appreciation of essential workers and their roles in our everyday lives.

-an increased appreciation for nurses and doctors and other health care workers.

Spring will come,

flowers will bloom,

birds will sing.

Yesterday, I heard Bishop Michael Curry speak on national news. I will close with one sentence which remains with me:

“Love is a commitment to the Common Good.”

Legalizing Rhino Horn Trade

You ask, really, is this possible?  The South African government is considering it to appease rhino farmers.  Rhinos do not have to be killed to harvest their horns which actually grow back if cut.  As a consequence South African rhino farmers think if they raise rhinos for their horns, they can get a big pay off from the constantly increasing demand for rhino horn.

Rhino horn trade remains illegal and rhino horn demand continually increases.  In Asia the Chinese use it in medicine, mix the powdered form into mixed drinks, and give it as luxury gifts.  Of course, there is no proof it works for anything.  That seems not to matter.  Currently, although it varies from time to time, powdered rhino horn brings about 60,000 dollars per gram, more than cocaine, gold, and heroin combined.

The logic behind farming rhinos is that farmed rhinos, usually white rhinos, will provide enough for the demand and save wild rhinos, especially black rhinos which in some areas are already extinct.  Research indicates otherwise:  that once rhino horn is legalized, the demand will increase far beyond what rhino farmers can supply.  A study by Duke University indicates that many, who do not currently buy rhino horn because it is illegal, would buy if legalized.  Once the demand is greater than farmers can supply, poachers will kill whatever is needed to fill the demand.

If you want to research this and discourage the South African government from legalizing rhino horn trade, go to this website:


Since I was a child, my only health issue has been headaches.  When younger, sometimes they were little ones and sometimes nearly incapacitating.  As an adult I could count on having at least one a month, sometimes more.  Weather seems to be the main culprit now.  If certain weather patterns occur, a series may hit me for several days in a row and then blissfully nothing for a couple of months.  My daughter has migraines also; she must have inherited this from me, sadly.  Tuesday this week, I awakened with a doozy and suddenly recalled that I had to attend this class for work.  I took my medication and hoped.  While waiting for the class to start, I decided to write down exactly how these migraines make me feel.


Poised above my head,

the hammer ball strikes the ten inch nail.

It drives through my right frontal lobe,

the nail point jutting out just below my right cheek, shiny, bloodless.

The hammer flips, the nail pulled out.

Pain pulses, excruciating.

Poised above my head, the hammer strikes again and again.

Endless hours the hammer strikes and pulls.

I hold my head in my hands, rocking back and forth.