Written by Panorama Resident, Carolyn Treadway.
Think of your very favorite place on Earth–a specific place that you love profoundly. Close your eyes and take yourself there. See it, hear it, smell it, feel it. Immerse yourself in it mentally and viscerally. Take time to do this right now. Allow your memories and feelings to arise; hold them in your heart. Then think of this precious place disappearing forever! How dreadful that would be! What would you be willing to do to preserve it?
It is important to connect with the love you have for your special place, because what we love, we preserve and protect–sometimes fiercely. Now expand your perspective to include all of your favorite places, and then the larger Earth. Allow your memories and feelings to arise. Fall in love again with the Earth. With gratitude and reverence, remember the beauty of our Earth and the sacredness of all creation. What would you be willing to do to preserve it?
Our Earth, our matrix of life, is in trouble. Big trouble, if we keep living as unsustainably as we now live. We humans are the only species to have “fouled our nest” so badly that our very life support systems are under threat. How long will we have clean water, breathable air, fecund soil, and containable fire? We have already exceeded the carrying capacity of our planet, and are rapidly depleting sources of oxygen, biodiversity, and materials needed for future civilizations.
While “debate” about climate change rages on and on, vast changes are already occurring across the planet, including right here in Washington. Trying to feel more secure in the face of oncoming threats, people and companies continue with “business as usual”, stockpiling and draining what resources we have, as if the Earth were made simply for our use. Yikes! It’s all too vast to comprehend, let alone to do anything about.
So what difference can any of us make in the face of accelerating change? Plenty! What does this have to do with Panorama’s residents? Plenty! Because these are critical times, every action each one of us takes is important. It may not seem important whether I turn off the water while brushing my teeth, take shorter showers, recycle, drive less, share organic food from my Pea Patch, sign petitions, take political action, and so on. But collectively, it truly is. By making mindful choices, each of us can contribute to the sustainability of our Earth each day in myriad small ways.
What else can we do? Not everything, but your own thing. What are you willing to do to restore our Earth, in your small part of it? What calls to you, because you care fiercely enough to give some time and energy to it? The “call” is different for each of us. My call is speaking out about the dangers of nuclear power, which I’ve been doing for years. Now that I have grandchildren, I care even more passionately about preserving a viable environment for them and for all our descendants (as I’m sure you do too). So I “speak for Earth” whenever I can.
We are the Earth. We are a part of the living ecosystem of Earth, not separate from it, nor stewards of it. I believe that we all long for an Earth restored. As we focus on what we deeply long for and then take determined steps toward that direction, we have hope–active hope (as described by Joanna Macy in her book Active Hope.) We focus on our intention, which guides us to become active participants in bringing about what we hope for. Even without a guaranteed outcome, our intention generates our continued hope. Please join me in active hope toward the healing of our precious Earth, our only home.