While I’ve never met Charlie, his blog Seattle Trekker is just so cool that I couldn’t resist asking him to participate in this interview. And it’s not just because I used to live in Seattle – he covers a wide range of topics, but of course I dig the gardening stuff the most! And reading his interview, I was just SO inspired.
What or who inspires you most?
There was a time when my answer would have been Eleanor Roosevelt, Mamie Till, and Abraham Lincoln; the people who endured much and in the end made vast changes in my world. They are the people whose shoulders now hold me above the crowd. Over the past several years it has changed so that I see those who take all they have or can be and they mold their world through single acts of kindness as my heroes; they are the people who start and run, or who work in non-profits in their spare time. Riding the bus this past weekend I watched a young kid get on the bus who did not have the fare; he asked if anyone would pay his way. It was the man who sat a couple rows up from me who you could tell had literally nothing stood up and made the trip to the front of the buss, passing a lot of well to do passengers, who put the $2.25 in the box; that man is my hero, he inspires me.
What do you turn to when you need strength?
My chapel and my cathedral are in the vast forests, mountains, and the ocean shores of the Pacific Northwest. There is nothing more special or more magical than sitting on one of our ocean beaches at night watching the stars as they are revealed and listening to the universe whisper its secrets to you. I can always find strength in these places.
How can women best support and/or empower other women?
Know your history, lock arms, and walk into the future motivated by the driving force that anything is possible, absolutely anything.
What do you love to grow? What would you like to try growing someday?
My wife and I have had 14 different children live with us at different times; I think I would like to grow children, more children. There is nothing more terrifying or rewarding than knowing your life could take a different path at any moment and it will change forever, that is the special gift that children bring.
What are your creative outlets? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t?
I write stories and novels; I garden, and landscape. I would like to try stained glass and blowing glass.
In what environment(s) do you feel most in your element?
The garden is that special place. There is no past or future in the garden, there is only the present; it is a place where you are connected to all living things.
Who are your top nonprofits you support and/or volunteer with and why?
- I have volunteered with other organizations, but now I spend all of my time with King County Search and Rescue. It connects me to that same feeling I had when I worked in the emergency room.
What recent “green” change have you made in your own life? What’s next?
We waste 40% of the food we purchase and we use only 1% of the water we process. I am working hard to be more conscious of personally reducing those numbers and I am trying to get the message out through my blog to expand participation in those efforts.
Where in the world do you consider a sanctuary? Why?
It is the swing on the porch that sits in the center of my garden.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Never stop dreaming, never stop setting new goals, and never be afraid of taking a new path.
How can we as a society be more radical in supporting a healthy planet?
It comes by setting personal standards around how and what we consume and then speaking up to encourage others to consider treating the earth as a friend and partner. That is one of the goals of my blog.
What sparked your interest in environmental issues? What’s the first “eco” thing you ever did?
You can’t be a gardener and not be heavily concerned with and involved with environmental issues. While taking horticulture classes I volunteered time to re-pot plants native to Puget Sound for the state forestry service.
How do you live simply?
I buy recycled, I use more mass transit, and I use my blog to pass information that promotes environmental simplification.
Could you leave us with a favorite quote of yours?
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”