Tag Archives: Earth

Wisdom: I’m with Her

Horicon MarshA vacation and growing involvement in climate change efforts, while enjoyable and fulfilling, have sadly lessened my blog reading and also reduced my writing during these summer months.

Recently I traveled North to Wisconsin for a family re-union.  In addition to escaping  another round of excessive heat and humidity, here in the Ozarks, I relished being able to swim, play, soak in the sun, star gaze, hike, and rest on the earth unencumbered by chiggers and snakes and the demands of employment and other everyday responsibilities.

Sure, I had to give some thought to strategies for the next round of Capture the Flag (kids vs adults), but other than that, I was free to enjoy the good company and let my mind and feelings move where they would.  What a blessing.

Upon returning home I happened to read two op-eds in the weekly local paper, The Independent.  One discussed the hard won power to vote; the other urged a dawning of compassion as essential for precipitating climate change action.

Fresh from my relaxing Nature immersion, I responded with a Letter to the Editor emphasizing that every moment, every thought, every action is an opportunity to vote.  A chance to cast a ballot for the health of the Earth and, thus, for the health of ourselves and future generations.  A chance to say I am with Her, our Planet.  This kind of voting and Earth loving is a simple connection in theory and in heart, but not necessarily easy to put into practice, given our consumerist, fossil fuel past and present.  Still, I like to try.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mission: Pushing the Envelope with Friends

CCL Washington DCIt was spring, 2016, and I knew I had to transform my grief.  My heart was overwhelmed with daunting climate change reports: bleached coral reefs, melting permafrost, methane monsters, extreme weather events, and climate refugees.  Beyond lightening my own carbon footprint, I felt paralyzed.

Then one fortuitous day, I found Citizens’ Climate Lobby via Facebook.  After reading about CCL’s Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal at citizensclimatelobby.org, I decided to risk stepping out of my introverted comfort zone to check out my closest active CCL chapter, which is an hour’s drive away in Fayetteville.   That decision and the warm welcome I received from the wonderful folks who make up CCL Fayetteville, changed my life.   Becoming active in CCL has transfigured my heartbreak into hope, pragmatic optimism, and enthusiasm.

I’ve read about many courageous and innovative climate change actions unfolding around the world.  There is so much good work to be celebrated; perhaps you are part of such a group effort or are diligently undertaking your own climate mission.  Certainly both personal and broader public efforts are essential!  I would love to hear about your passion,  your vision, your message, and your efforts.

From June 19th – 21st, eleven of us (students, business people, teachers, retirees) from Arkansas joined with 1000 other CCL’ers in Washington D.C. to hone our knowledge and advocacy skills and to meet with members of Congress.  The energy of togetherness, responsibility, and possibility in the conference gatherings was electrifying!  Still, I was a little nervous. Never in my life had I envisioned myself walking through the Hart Senate Office building or crowding into a conference room in the Longworth House Office Building to speak up for the planet, myself, and my fellow human beings!  Yet there I was (despite the butterflies in my stomach)  with an inspired team of Arkansas CCL’ers  (I can’t emphasize the enjoyable, heart-full, intelligent nature of this team enough) engaging with Congressional representatives and staff in earnest dialogue.

Now here I am back home in the beautiful Ozarks.  The physical, scientific facts of climate change still stand stark.  But I’m energized to go forward, pushing the envelope of my personal comfort zone, in concert with my CCL colleagues, to bring about climate change solution legislation and a measure of healing to our home.  That feels good.

 

 

 

 

Spiritual Tribe: A 93 Million Mile Perspective

river view after rainThe question before my two co-workers and myself  was: what music shall we next play via the bluetooth speakers displayed at our technology shop.   We had maxed out “best hits of the 70’s” and “folk instrumentals”.    Classical got six thumbs down.

“Try Jason Mraz,” my 20 something sales rep suggested.  Having no better idea, I found the album “Love is a Four Letter Word” on Amazon Prime and pressed play.   Upbeat.  Pleasant.   The work day went on. The lyrics of progressive songs faded into the background.

Until 93 Million Miles.

93 Million Miles: the distance from the Sun to the Earth.

From that perspective, can the human family appear anything other than a  whole, a single tribe, infused with the Natural colors and tones of our planet?

Walk on Earth, however, and polarizing ideologies and vocal viewpoints (at least here in the United States) can overwhelm the senses, fracturing and isolating us from each other, even if we’re just meters or inches apart from each other.  All this has long left me with questions more difficult to answer than which is the next album to be played.

“Is it possible to talk with a stranger about anything other than the weather without stirring discomfort or igniting a firestorm?”  “What can help a sense of common ground emerge?”   “What type of everyday interactions can nourish, if not a 93 million mile perspective, at least an inkling of togetherness and a feeling of person to person real-ness?”

What answers do you have?

One approach I’ve been trying out on some of my customers is to invite conversation about cherished places, during lulls in the technology sales process (seems like we’re always waiting for some data to back up or download or some email password to be reset). It’s an easy transition from generic weather comments or “how was your weekend” to “On summer evenings after the rain, I love looking out over the river . . . ” which can easily evoke “I know a place like that . . . ”

Seems that nearly everyone has some landscape, vacation spot, back yard, or secret hideaway that stirs the Heart and imagination.   In these memories, I see a coherent mosaic and hear the notes of an earth-love song that I’ll sing and play any day.  Here. 93 million miles from the sun.

 

 

Earth: Finding Our Way

Signal TreeAn oak bends and rises just off the north corner of my back deck.  A graceful genuflect.  Or perhaps a forced position.  Word has it this may be a Signal Tree of the sort sculpted by Native Americans or later settlers to mark the way.  This one points to the river valley.

Looking at that guiding tree reminds me that my individual direction and our human destiny is indivisible from Earth.  Thus, we are well served to enjoy time with Her.  To observe and listen to Her wisdom, Her signs and signals.  To find our way in harmony with Her.

You can read more about Signal Trees and the effort to document them here.

Mission: Countering Great Destruction with Small Commitments

Carroll Electric EquipmentCarroll Electric rolled into the neighborhood last week.  With mechanically-armed saw blades whirring and spinning, they summarily cleared “their” right-of-ways of offending trees. Leaving the ripe scent and shock of countless destroyed cedars in their wake.  Mission accomplished. Power supply preserved.

Frustration abounds locally at Carroll Electric’s management and operational practices.  I’m none too happy with them. Still for the many of us not yet on solar they do keep the lights on, albeit with a profit-conscious heavy hand.

Carroll Electric Destruction

As I’ve mourned the lost trees and scarred hillsides, I’ve also wondered at my own profession.  I do my best to treat my customers well, as living individuals, not numbers.  But am I any less earth-destructive than Carroll Electric in my years of selling labor and resource-laden I Phones, Galaxies, Turbos, Tablets, Modems, Routers, DVR’s?

I have a friend who once declared that she wasn’t going to take up any job that would harm people, animals or the Earth.  She was unemployed for a very long time.  Indeed today’s economy essentially demands participation in a production/consumption lockstep that damages our planetary home and cuts ever so anonymously and lethally at our biological and spiritual connection with Nature.

I don’t have an answer for this circumstance.  Except to claim and commit daily to a counter mission.  To consume lightly. To place faith in Life’s abundance.  And to direct effort, time, passion, and care each day into something that heals, inspires, and spreads hope.  Something as small as touching the Earth and singing a prayer. Something as real as holding hands with a friend.  As frugal as finding a $4 skirt at the thrift shop. As important as speaking truth that activates change. Something that calls one back into the center of the Heart.  Into Wisdom’s Energy.

Garden Snail Shell

.

Balance: Teaming up Love with Wisdom

Gallery PhotoI pass by the Sacred Earth Gallery on my drive to and from work. Its handful of artful cairns stand untroubled along the highway, seemingly magically misplaced in time and space.  These carefully balanced stones speak the silent, Heart-centering language of the earth. Even travelling in my Honda at 45 mph, I can hear and feel their centripetal pull into Understanding.  Understanding that simultaneously transcends and is applicable to human circumstances.  The challenge, of course, is to seek and reveal it.

balancing rockI’ve felt especially grateful moving through the territory of the Cairn’s the past few days.  I’m in final negotiations for the dispensation of the property of the spiritual community of which I was long apart.  However things work out, through all the inner and outer struggles, I’ve gained priceless understanding about balancing love with wisdom.

Love, as I’m using the word here, naturally embraces, cares, shares, seeks to uplift and to heal.  When this love flows, one can’t help but smile and feel good.  But seeing as our world is not one inhabited solely by unicorns and benevolent fairies, round rockwisdom is essential for safeguarding and directing that love.

 Wisdom (Knowledge gained by experience and applied with Heart) recognizes the defining resources and personality patterns involved in situations and prompts intelligent action infused with integrity.

Doubtless I have more to learn in balancing two of the Heart’s great forces, Love and Wisdom. But so far so good.

What stories do you have to share of Love and Wisdom’s interplay in everyday life?

Earth: What is Our Legacy?

lilyinpattisgardenThursday in meditation I wondered at the ongoing legacy of Earth within our solar system.   What lasting effect flows from our complex and changing biology? From our human creativity and ignorance? Questions within which I could see and sense possibilities, but could not definitively answer. Perhaps you’ve gathered some clear insights through your contemplation.

Our individual legacies do, however, wait within the realm of dream-able and actionable.   It’s never too early or too late to begin preparing soil, planting seeds and encouraging the blossoming of our contributions on earth. Now is the perfect moment!

Grand public legacies inspire and benefit the common good. But can also intimidate. Don’t let the heralded donation of a thousand acres, dampen your cultivation of a bed of lilies that pleases the Heart and delights the imagination of friends and neighbors today and into the future. I am reminded of this each morning as I enjoy the progressive coloring of my landlady’s lovingly constructed landscaping.

Private legacies pack immediate and enduring potency. A meal with neighbors gifts understanding. An honest conversation between lovers bequeaths trust.  Listening to stories of an aging parent transfers family riches.   Pursuing the Heart’s inspirations with full gusto releases a wealth of enthusiasm and stick-to-it-ness, especially when the journey’s core ideas, hardships and successes are shared in conversation with friends.

I find building such intimate legacies requires fitness in valuing and claiming small moments.   Small moments filled with great Heart, free from technological distractions and virtual allures. Small moments rich in authentic human-ness.  Small moments, that whatever our destiny, whatever our fate as a species or a planet, shine together as a bright Earthen legacy.