This Sept. 11, take time to reflect


“Take time to say ‘I’m sorry, Please forgive me, Thank you, or It’s okay. And if tomorrow never comes, you’ll have no regrets about today.”

That is the end of a beautiful and sad memorial poem dedicated to those who perished Sept. 11, 2001. I often read and view that poem, and of course this special time of the year, we all should take note and reflect on what is really important in our lives.

How will you be remembered?

“Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike, and today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight.” Unfortunately we take many things for granted, including our daily lives and our valuable resources.

If you were gone tomorrow, how would you want to be remembered? Did you leave this world a better place? Did you improve the land or your farm for future generations? Were you a good spouse/parent/sibling/relative?

Did you conserve resources, enrich the land and create habitats? How did you treat others and care for livestock, pets and god’s creatures? These are all things I wonder about — how will people remember me when I’m gone.

What have I done that will make a difference? Of course we all say, “When I get time, I’m going to…” or “When I get the money, I’m going to do ….” And we put off these meaningful projects or events. Enjoy each day. Well don’t let laziness be an excuse.

Enjoy each day, don’t take it for granted, and think about how you’d like to be thought of, and remembered. Right now might be the perfect time to get started on that project or mend that fence.

“So if you’re waiting for tomorrow, why not do it today? For if tomorrow never comes, you’ll surely regret the day.”

What is conservation?

I ask students if they know what it means, the word, conservation. Some of them understand the definition, to conserve.

Basically I tell them it means to save, protect and wisely use our natural resources.

It’s a term that gets used quite a bit, but for each person it may take on a different meaning. For a farmer, it could mean no-till farming, cover crops, manure management, following a CNMP (Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan), recycling ag plastic film, stream crossings, livestock exclusion fencing, rotational grazing, grassed waterways, heavy use pads, buffer zones and riparian areas in fields, wildlife habitat and timber improvements.

For homeowners, conservation could mean rain barrels, rain gardens to reduce storm water runoff, mulching lawn mower blades, compost bins, recycling, using low flow shower heads and toilets or just turning off electrical appliances.

Helping the planet

I also like to think of conservation of how we can help all things living on the beautiful planet, and I think we should include habitat improvements. The flora and fauna (plants and animals) are in need of some saving and protecting!

From butterflies, bees, and frogs to bats and song birds, so many other creatures could all use a little help by just providing clean natural resources. So, what are you going to do with your time here on Earth? What does conservation mean to you?

Make yourself happy and the loved ones in and around your world happy as well … with conservation.

Where were you?

I wasn’t around Dec. 7, 1941 … but I do know it was a day that will live in infamy. I love history, and consider myself patriotic, so that day still is emotional for me, but so is this day of Sept. 11.

I lived it .. witnessed it, and it will always be a part of my life.

As the Alan Jackson song says, “Where were you when the world stop turning on that September day?”

I remember it like it was yesterday. It’s hard to believe it was in 2001.

Time flies and we do take things for granted. We all have hardships and losses, but we move forward with positive actions and joyful memories. May your day be filled with happiness and no regrets.


Up-to-date agriculture news in your inbox!

Previous articleBreeding soundness exams render better lambing, kidding seasons
Next articleFuturistic Oliver, built on shoestring, still head turner
Kelly Riley has been the Education Specialist for the Wayne Soil and Water Conservation District since 2003. She earned her B.A. Degree in Education from the University of Akron and was previously a teacher with the Tri-County ESC. Kelly can be reached at (330)-262-2836 or by e-mail at



We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.

Receive emails as this discussion progresses.