Turtles and…

The heat has been turned up, the daylight hours stretched out, the nights cool but short. This Saturday brings the Summer Solstice, normally a time when Riverbank Neighbors gather together to celebrate our Earth, our community, our work. But things are not normal. How can we share this common worldwide moment? Maybe a quiet early morning walk by the river?
Maybe bring your clarinet or flute, 
your cello or harp,
find a solitary space and play.
Play for the children and the old folk, the lonely and the heart broken,
play for the hope that we build into each day’s work,
for the end of day, the arrival of night,  the promise of a new day.
When we carry the difficulties of this time, hot and heavy, and the hope for gentle rain and cool breeze, consider the snapping turtle that labored her way up the bank on Wednesday,  found a spot into Amy and Paul’s front yard of , lifted her nose to the air, and dug out a bowl in which to lay her leathery eggs. She stopped every few moments to rest. She was working hard.  If turtles could sweat, she would be sweating. Instead she would just stop and rest, her baggy skin covering powerful muscular legs. She finished her work, smelled for the river and pushed through the tall plants, under the fence, down the bank, over the rocks, and, one final pause, and tipped into the water. She surfaced briefly, maybe to say good bye to us? Or to the clutch of eggs that she entrusted to fate (and Amy). Our dinosaur friend, beautiful, powerful, without doubt.

Thanks to all that have labored at a distance to repair the two lower paths, dug out trails, watered plants, set up new fencing, painted and mounted new signage, hauled rocks and soils, built new storm drainage, pulled weeds and trimmed back the too aggressive plants. We have been thanked and graced by the appearance and songs of frogs, turtles, beaver and muskrats, night herons, indigo buntings, orioles, scarlet tanagers. Our need for company and contact, touch, builds, yet we remain cautious and careful to protect each other. Please wear your masks, keep your distance, wash your hands.
We are awaiting delivery of wood chips. Once they arrive we can re-chip the paths and re-open, as one way paths. Chipping can be done at any time, so that we don’t bunch up. Stay atuned!

Dear Riverbank Neighbors,
(msg from Jules) I hope you are well and safe. Two messages below: 1. The weekend on the riverbank 2. National Day of Action; We join the calls of our brothers and sisters across the city and the country for #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor
details below
1. Dear neighbors, this weekend a few riverbank neighbors will be working on the riverbank, following strict covid distancing protocols at various times. We will wear masks and appreciate if all visitors follow the rules and keep us all safe and healthy.   Many people are enjoying the beauty of the river path and treasuring it more than ever, On the other hand, many of our neighbors are really upset about rude, destructive, and dangerous behavior.  We are making more signs, have closed parts of the path, and may do more.  We have neighbors who have serious health issues and we want to protect them. and their ability to go for a walk safely in the beauty of nature.  Please help.  

2. Riverbank Neighbors organizers and members have a long history of organizing and participating in protest for social justice and environmental causes. 

We join the calls of our brothers and sisters across the city and the country for #JusticeforGeorgeFloyd #JusticeforBreonnaTaylor   Today is a National Day of Action https://naarpr.org/ Car Caravan:  https://www.facebook.com/events/582696639054989/   or this:  Chicagoans To Honk Horns, Make Noise Saturday At 7 P.M. Cacerolazo To Protest Police Killing Of George Floyd But all of this will only make a difference if we commit to life long anti-racist training.  Who’s in?    For those who cannot attend, but want to donate, please do.   The Minnesota Freedom Fund https://minnesotafreedomfund.org