Connecting the Dots

     These pieces are drifting around in me, unanchored.  They have enough energy that I think they are asking something of me.  Acknowledgement? Connection? Action?  I offer them here because I'm not sure what else to do with them. I know spirit winds through them; I think they are about hope. But is there something else that emerges by connecting the dots?

Dot 1 - Daylighting

     I heard this term in a feel-good story on the radio recently (NPR).  "Daylighting" is used to describe a rising concept in urban design and planning: the redirection to an above-ground channel of a waterway previously diverted into a culvert, pipe, or covered drainage system.  That's a lot of words.  Basically, it's uncovering buried streams. 
    On one level, the release of these captives makes me really happy.  The sun can sparkle on water again, and people can remember they are living with the land.  But I wonder why these projects have to be justified on the basis of cost savings and flood mitigation, and the ecosystem, community and aesthetic aspects are considered by-products.  Can't we just be straightforward about the longings of our hearts?

Dot 2 - Abigail Borah

     I burst into tears this week while driving down the highway to an appointment, completely surprising myself.  I had the radio on the lunchtime public affairs programming, and it happened to be about youth engaged in climate change activism.  My first reaction was a sinking heart: our children are growing up with the trauma of inheriting an increasingly weather-violent world and the social fallout from that, and all we adults can do is argue about it and agree to teach our kids to recycle.
     But then I heard this (please click the link then click back when you are done):
     That's when the tears came.  Abigail Borah, a Middlebury College student attending the 2011 UN Climate Summit in Durban, South Africa as a member of the SustainUS youth delegation, interrupted chief US negotiator Todd Stern who was about to speak.  He was widely being accused of perpetuating gridlock in the talks by delaying US commitment to action.  Abigail challenged him and spoke to the world.  The president of COP can be seen saying "No one is listening" as she is speaking.  The world was listening.  The world heard Abigail Borah. (FMI: interview with Abigail Borah)

Dot 3 - Rewilding

     Another word that has captured me, "rewilding" is what it seems: the restoration of ecosystems to their natural, uncultivated state.  What is remarkable is the scale.  For example, the Y2Y Initiative (Yellowstone to Yukon) is a breathtaking vision that holds the movement's fundamental tenets of "Cores, Corridors and Carnivores" within it: core habitats connected by ancient migration corridors, and the wolves, bears and other apex predators free to move within it.
     What if?  What if we could do this?  What if we stepped aside, and let these rivers of intricately interconnected life-forms flow unhindered?  The catch of course, is the people who bump up against or live within these ecosystems.  We might not be the apex predators anymore.
     But could we actually do this?  "Rewilding": just the word itself energizes me.  Must be my paleo-spirit jumping for joy.

Dot 4: Night-riding: a postcard from the Southwest

      "I rode my bike last night," Andrew reported.  I turned from the shocking brightness of the desert morning sunlight to look back into the dim interior of our rental car.
     "Where did you ride?" Not at all sure this was a safe thing to do, my mother-antennae went up.
     "I don't know.  Just around.  On paths.  I'd just ride and ride until I came to the pool, and then I knew where I was and went back to the room."
     I pictured him under the immense star-lit sky, cold night air brushing his cheeks as he flew along on the borrowed bike with no purpose other than to feel it all.
     My words dropped away, and I saw him as the 14-year old untethered boy he is, following his instincts to be loose of the earth in this land of sky.  He was safe on the hotel grounds.  But more importantly, he was free.

No comments:

Post a Comment