- Mountains And Waters
It’s spring. Things are moving and melting.
We like this, sometimes. I spent half of Friday outside in the garden, and came back happy. And we don’t like it, sometimes. In Mogadishu (Somalia) people are dying in the floods. Nebraska has had such flood damage that food prices will be way higher this fall, if not sooner. There will be more hunger among humans. Vast numbers of other species have died in those floods, plants and animals both, but we don’t think of them the same way.
It makes me think of hubris. “To the Greeks, hubris referred to extreme pride, especially pride and ambition so great that they offend the gods and lead to one’s downfall.” Merriam-Webster. I add, a common characteristic of the Industrial Growth Society, in sincerely believing that all material limits can be conquered by human ingenuity and technology. Hubris leads to ruin. The hubris of industrial agriculture, ignoring the ways water, earth, and wind naturally move, has led to the opposite of resilience in these fields. Chemical toxins and radioactive wastes, assumed safely stored but now flooded, compound the problem.
I also wonder about my own hubris, daring to think I can talk with rocks and rivers and forests. Only I know that millions of people have done this before me. It was called prayer, mostly, and ridiculed by moderns. How dare I go against the teachings of my culture? Can I say, simply, because my culture is so obviously mistaken that it is destroying itself? Would that be enough? (These days, I have plenty of company in my heresy anyway.)
Yesterday this came to my attention: https://www.souland.org/blog/declare-climate-emergency. It’s a Buddhist call to action. Declare that climate emergency is real, and organize to take steps around it. The essay was written mainly by Thanissara Mary Weinberg, and promoted by Joanna Macy. (Because she has name recognition, I’m sure.)
They are proposing we gather at Wesak, a Buddhist festival in May that celebrates Buddha’s birth, enlightenment, and death, all in one day. Gathering to declare climate emergency, and talk with each other, and consider our actions.
This seems to me a good thing. It also happens on a weekend with some other good things already planned. So we will have the Land Care Retreat, May 17-19, then Sunday afternoon gather in council to Declare Climate Emergency and consider moving forward together. The Sunday evening potluck will be a chance to continue the conversation.
I’ll prepare for that by being available at the Northfield Earth Day celebration April 27, hosting a table where talk of climate emergency is welcome, along with all the emotions, and offering lead-ins for this event and other ways of connecting.
If anyone out there wants to talk about promoting Declare Climate Emergency where you are, please get in touch. I’m happy to do what I can.
In my life, it feels like spring. Just like the cold weather, my insides have been frozen too long. I’m happy to be moving.
Love to you all.