By Nancy Tannler, Editor

Fall has such a sense of orderliness and clarity to me. As long as I can remember, I’ve been most aware of the season change at the end of summer when the air has another feeling, the angle of the sun changes, school begins  and we begin to tuck ourselves in for a different journey.

We ended this summer with a family camping trip to one of our favorite spots on Mt. Adams; a place we have been going to for the past twenty-five years. It was recently written up in Sunset magazine so it has been “discovered.”

I understand that a lot of people want to experience the magic of nature these days (and who can blame them?), but one thing bothered me that I’ve noticed, not only camping, but hiking as well is that some people don’t seem to notice they are leaving bits of  detritus  along the way.

I’ve always understood that the unwritten law of the land was to leave it better than you found it, or, as the Native Americans professed, to think seven generations ahead.

So I was disappointed that some people aren’t taking their responsibility seriously. We are all shifting around to make room for the burgeoning population here in the northwest and the impact this has on our natural amenities. My mantra is to tread lightly and I, like a bumper sticker I saw the other day, consider the idea that “Nature is my Church.”

Moving forward on another more esoteric topic, why do some people have so much conscience when others, well you know, look around. I was recently at a yoga class taught by Signa Cheney and the intent of the class was to stimulate the pineal gland, located in the middle of the brain at the brow point. It is named pineal because it resembles a pinecone.

After class, I came home and researched the pineal gland and came up with thought-provoking information. According to theory, this is the gland that is our conduit for our relationship with the supernatural. When this gland becomes calcified (which I understand is a common occurrence in modern society) we lose our connection to the otherness of life.

It actually relieved me to read there might be some kind of physical manifestation that enables people to make such poor decisions about the welfare of the human race.

Rather than wondering what planet others come from, or how they disseminate information so differently than I do, I can now infer that their pineal gland has become calcified and they need to start treatment ASAP.

And what treatment is available? Well, I think that a great majority of Portlanders are already working on this. No fluoridated water is number one, thoughtfulness in whatever form you understand, is number two and from there the list goes on: encompassing, exercise, meditation, good food, good thoughts, and serving the greater good.

One more thought on this nebulous subject: I think I understand now why in supplication many different religious practices touch their forehead, either to the ground as in Islam or with the fingertips as the Catholic do.

It stimulates the pineal gland that in turn brings a sense of well-being and connection to a person. It was suggested in one of the articles I read that people kiss one another on their foreheads for this stimulation. So Portlander, how about, a kiss on the forehead instead of both cheeks? That will keep us weird.

Technology has always been a part of the human endeavor and ultimately, even high tech really hasn’t changed us all that much. I recently heard a young woman describe some of the inventions of humans as light tech instead of low tech since it really isn’t the opposite of high tech, just a different progression.

Ever since we rubbed two sticks together and created fire we have been using technology. The caveman, just like us, mostly wanted to stay warm, cook food, gather with friends and family, be entertained – just live.

When I asked myself, has the computer, smartphone, iPods, iPads or the web changed the essence of anything we do, I realized not that much. It’s just another roadside distraction that’s gives us more tools in our tool box.

On a final note, last week I commuted everyday to take my grandson to his school. I was driving the commuter routes before and during rush hour and I came up with a question: Why do some people think their commute is more important than everyone elses as they drive like maniacs, zipping in and out of traffic and generally being a hazard and a nuisance.

Don’t they get it? We’re all more crowded now and sharing the road is just part of every one’s duty. Not that any of us are all that happy about it, but that’s the breaks.

We all need to keep repeating the mantra, twenty is plenty.