That beautiful smiling face you see belongs to Emily Miller, daughter of my friends Nina and Steve. I was Emily’s confirmation sponsor and although that means my primary responsibility is to provide her with “prayerful support and guidance in her Christian life”, I choose to honor her on a pagan holiday — Beltane. Why?
Well, let me tell you about Emily. The first thing you need to know is that she’s brilliant. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. After college she worked as a paralegal in New York City. During that time she seemed to find “her calling” — a deep interest in the environment.
Next, Emily left NYC for Denver where she spent a few years and worked for the Chef Ann Foundation (www.chefannfoundation.org) whose mission is “To provide school communities with the tools, training, resources and funding that enables them to create healthier food and redefine lunchroom environments.” That experience led Emily to decide she was ready for law school. She is now enrolled in UC Berkeley Law School focused on food and environmental policies.
I am in awe of this young woman, who, I believe, can succeed at anything she sets out to do. And that’s why I was delighted when her mother told me she was working on a paper focused on policies to implement the Green New Deal. Now, I know many people feel that the Green New Deal is an impossible dream. But I’ve got news for you. It’s not just a pipe dream if Emily’s working on it.
If you’ve read my blogs over the years, you know I’m a Pollyanna — a cockeyed optimist. But I can’t help myself, especially when I realize our future is in the hands of intelligent, diligent and thoughtful young people like our Emily. In just a few years, they will come into their full powers and I just hope I’m around to see the wonders they’ll achieve.
But you may still be wondering, why I picked Beltane to write this ode to Emily? Well, May 1, Beltane, is the Gaelic May Day. On this day in Ireland, rituals used to be performed to protect cattle, crops and people, and to encourage growth. And, after all, isn’t that what Emily is working on? With her on the job, I’ll sleep better, knowing the Earth is in good hands.
As I am inspired today, I paraphrase words that inspired me so many years ago:
Some men see things as they are and ask why
She dreams things that never were and asks why not?”