By Garnette Arledge

On Monday, April 11, Andes had her Spring.

Now as I write, two days later, it seems to have gone back into hibernation. By the time you read this, may Spring become a longer resident in the beautiful Andes area.

However, according to the speakers on State Capitol lawn Albany at the rally I attended on that one glorious day, the renowned beauty of clean water and air, healthy and spectacular mountains refuges and sporadic traffic on back roads are headed back into history.

The last rally I attended was in Washington DC, in days of protests against Vietnam. I know it’s been a long time because I was pregnant with my first child who is now thirty-nine. When the massive crowd ahead was tear-gassed, we left. She’s still proud of her participation but I was frightened for her well-being and fled safely. But when The Catskill Mountainkeeper posted information about the anti-fracking rally I felt it was safe enough to show my support on the Capital lawn.

It was a glorious drive up Route 30 along full flowing streams to Route 88. In Schoharie we saw workers planting seeds in the rich farm valley. Albany was sunny, practically shirt-sleeve weather, as we stood under the fuzzy red clusters on maple trees swanning in the sun. The speakers laid out the dangers of fracking: night and day heavy diesel trucks pushing local traffic off back roads, dirty polluted air and brown carcinogenic water in home taps, dramatically increased medical problems, with high medical bills.

Others can tell you more about the fracking issue: I just have the poet’s view to share.

I was happy to be outside in the sun, once again thankful to be living in a free country where communities and their people care enough about quality of life to gather from all over to listen to other concerned citizens. And, when once again home, I rocked on my front porch in the clean, warm sunshine.  ~

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