Surat Profesor Flournoy


bersama Prof Don Flournoy

LEBIH dua bulan aku tak pernah mengecek email kampus Ohio (@ohio.edu) yang dahulu diberikan kepada semua mahasiswa. Padahal, dulu aku rajin mengecek email itu sebab menjadi sarana komunikasi dengan semua staf pengajar dan kampus. Hari ini, ketika mengeceknya lagi, hatiku tiba-tiba saja basah ketika menemukan satu email indah dari seorang profesor.

Namanya Profesor Don Flournoy. Usianya lebih 80 tahun. Aku pernah menulis tentang hubunganku dengannya, sebagaimana bisa dibaca DI SINI. Ternyata, di awal tahun, ia mengirimkan email yang berisikan keadaannya, kondisi rumah dan peternakannya, serta apa yang tengah dilakukannya bersama istrinya untuk mengisi hari tua. Ia memperlihatkan foto-foto tentang perkebunan yang mereka kelola, anak-anaknya, serta para cucu, sebagaimana bisa dilihat di bawah ini:





Yang bikin aku tersentuh karena istri Don, Mary Anne, juga ikut mengirimkan pesan di email itu. Jika Don masih menjadi profesor dan mengajar di kampus, istrinya bekerja sebagai pekerja sosial, menulis puisi, dan bermain piano. So sweet..!

Mary memberi pesan yang amat indah tentang dunia yang terus berubah. Ia mendoakan agar tahun baru penuh dengan cinta. Ia juga mengingatkan pesan para leluhur Amerika bahwa semua orang memiliki kesempatan yang sama untuk mendapatkan penghidupan yang baik. Setelah itu, Don bercerita tentang riset terbaru yang dilakukannya. Katanya, ia fokus pada riset tentang masa depan yang berkelanjutan. Nampaknya, ia semakin menginspirasi.

Tanpa berpanjang lebar, kukutipkan pesan keduanya yang sangat indah. Inilah pesan yang dituliskan Mary Anne.

As this week rings in the New Year 2014, we wish you peace, good health and much laughter. In a world so fraught with conflict, climate disruptions and other events that threaten our planet, we feel that we need to work harder for the good of the commons. We need to recapture our American ideal of every person having equal opportunity for a decent life.

Don and I are incredibly blessed with children and grandchildren who love us and patiently try to keep us up to date on the latest trends, especially in technology. I am amazed by the differences between their worlds today and the ones in which I grew up with my Smith Corona typewriter. This year we have had the delight of family gatherings at the farm and on Orca Island in upstate Washington and across the bay in Vancouver.  We had the rare experience of hiking in a true virgin forest on a preserve off the Pacific coast of Canada. About 40 citizens determined to block logging on this last piece of land banded with several First Nation groups some 30 years ago and saved this remnant of the ancient forest.

In October, our children gave us a 50th Anniversary party with a western theme at Uncle Buck’s, a dance hall and barbecue place near Athens. It was loads of fun to see generations of our friends, our children’s friends and other well wishers enjoying the event.

My life is filled with working for the health of the Appalachian region, which has so nourished us the past 42 years. The world of the Sugar Bush Foundation is centered on a regional Zero Waste initiative that aims to keep usable materials out of our landfills. We are looking forward to seeing new businesses coming forth to provide jobs based on reuse, repair and recycling. I continue to work with Rural Action, a non-profit doing watershed restoration and environmental education, promoting sustainable forestry and non-timber products, and expanding local food production and distribution centered on a produce auction led by Amish farmers.

I have begun playing the piano again after a long absence. Because of problems with my voice, I am temporarily unable to sing. I have joined a local poetry group.

Berikutnya, Professor Don Flournoy menuliskan pesan tentang kegiatannya.

My teaching, research and writing are focused on creating a more sustainable future for mankind using the clean and renewable energy that comes from the sun. In 2013, I was given an Excellence award by the National Space Society for my 12 years of service as editor of the Space Journal; my 2012 book on Space Solar Power; and the launch of an International SunSat Design Competition to create the next- generation satellites that will capture energy in space and deliver it to earth as a replacement for the burning of fossil fuels.
On the farm, using the sweat of human energy, Mary Anne and I are protecting the soil and planting trees.

Inilah indahnya relasi antara guru dan murid. Bagiku, Flournoy mengajarkanku bahwa sekali seseorang menjadi guru dan mengajarimu, maka kamu dan dia membangun jembatan yang sangat kokoh dan saling terhubung. Pengetahuan hanyalah jembatan bagi dua orang untuk terus menjaga silaturahmi dan kedekatan.

Terimakasih Prof Don Flournoy atas pesan indahnya.


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