I remember the moment clearly. It was right before dinner and I was just quickly checking my e-mail. I opened my Inbox, happy to see that I had an e-mail from my godfather Paul. I could hear the jingle of my dog's collar as he was sniffing around outside while my brother talked to one of his friends. I clicked on the e-mail and screamed. Immediately my body started shaking and I went into convulsive sobs. I opened the back door and, still shaking and crying, told my brother Ethan that I needed to talk to him.
"Ethan. I need to talk to you," was all I could say.
"Okay, I should go," said my brother's friend, glancing at me very oddly.
"What's wrong?" Ethan said calmly, completely unaware of the news he was about to get.
"Ethan, Luna's been cut."
After about two hours of sobbing it became clear to me that crying would get me nowhere. Sitting around crying over something that had already been done was useless. It struck me that I had to do something. Something more than I was already doing, something that would not only make my class more aware but my entire school building, something that could help. I rummaged through my brain trying to remember the website my godfather had told me about where I could print out a petition to stop the logging of old-growth redwoods by the Mendocino Redwood Company, which is owed by the Fisher family, owners of the Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy clothing stores. I typed it in and while it loaded I ran over my plan in my head. I would print a petition for every class. I would try to get 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th graders to sign and become aware. I printed background information, 6 petitions, and pictures of clearcuts. I kept a picture of Luna in my head all day.
After talking to my principal she agreed that I should make an announcement to everyone during our weekly Community Meeting. I split the announcement with my friend who is also concerned and I then handed out the petitions for people to sign. The outcome of signatures from my class was amazing so I am hoping that it will be the same for the other classes.
After doing something little like the petitions I feel good about it but still I don't feel like I can ever do enough. Every time one of my friends talks about the Gap I just want to scream and yell at them. But I don't, and someday I hope I will be able to talk as eloquently as Julia Butterfly. But for now I feel good about what I did.
Julia Butterfly Hill's story has profoundly affected many people, spurring them to actions of their own. Her impact has been especially strong on young people. The above essay was inspired by Julia's words and deeds. Amanda Warren, a 6th grader, is from Milton, Massachusetts. Amanda also wrote an essay for the Late Winter 2000 edition of The Maine Woods. Amanda's brother Ethan, a 9th grader, wrote the article in this issue titled Your Inactions Are As Destructive As Your Actions.
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