Taking Steps

Planting Seeds

I’m back. I’ll admit I’m still trying to get the hang of this writing business. I find myself brimming with so many ideas for things to write about that I stall out paralyzed by choice. What bite should we take next? How do we direct this effort in a productive way?

unfurl.jpg

So I decided to examine my mission. The primary goal of this endeavor is to change hearts, minds, and habits by planting seeds – figuratively. (Though we whole-heartedly endorse the literal planting of seeds as well, but that’s another blog entry). This is why I chose to begin today with an opening fern fiddle. Their fronds unfurl – in pretty dark places – in a way that I feel is perfectly symbolic for the growth of loving ideas and their spread in these perilous times.

You may have noticed in my last entry that I shared a little scene of me planting a seed over my cream-less compostable cup of coffee before I divested. This is just a small scale example of coarse, but my thinking is this. One particularly pressing topic we need to be talking about more is the climate crisis and our impact on our planet.

Society at large seems to just go about our daily interactions never mentioning this massive elephant in the room. (Funny that the elephant is the symbol for the climate legislation-blocking GOP). Climate change stands to wipe out all of us, and yet we just keep our heads down and carry-on, like lemmings on our way to the cliff’s edge. We don’t have much time to turn the tides on this problem, and the first step is rounding up the team. To do that we have to open a dialogue and raise awareness in our communities. Even if it’s just the community in your house, office, grocery store, gym class or carpool (you should carpool more by the way). Ideas spread and grow, and we need communities at large to take their impact and potential for change seriously.

So here and now, to you, I vow to talk about it more. Thus far I have done, in some very raw and frank conversations with friends and family. But I also vow to talk about it more in my communities, like here in my corner of the online world, or in line at the store, or when I run into a neighbor on walk, or over my compostable cup of coffee at the local credit union.

My personal style is to chose my words carefully and speak to strangers from a place of, and in the direction of, growth, honesty and love. I try not to come from a place of judgment, because I’m learning to be better about my impact myself. I want them to know that I’m their team-mate in this adjustment.

casualmentions

While shopping I have been known to enthusiastically expressed my excitement for products in my cart that are eco-concious, to those around me, and to the checker as I check out. I do this to illustrate the availability of choice in our consumption of common products. ( Boom! .::seeds::. ) I’ve offered to help someone bag their purchases and grabbed the 100% recycled kraft paper bag. I explained my choice to them by making a joke (though perhaps off-color), about how “I recently learned that the fish and animals can’t read the warnings printed on the plastic ones, the paper ones don’t have warnings so their easier to read. And hey, bonus, they’re recycled and can be reused and recycled again.” ( .::seed::. ) In one case running an errand, I even offered to spring for the 99¢ reusable for a fellow consumin’ human. They accepted with their thanks, then bought a couple more for them self. “I’m trying to be better about remembering mine too”, I add. ( .::seed::. )

A reenactment of you getting in their head.

A reenactment of you getting in their head.

Casual mentions of the bonkers weather, or other news stories with climate change at their root are also opportunities for engagement that I’m trying not to miss out on. Now obviously sometimes my subtle comments seem to get casually brushed off, but if you watch their faces you can see the wheels in that other human start turning as they carry on with their life. Don’t discount these interactions. You got that seed in the ground, and that’s a win too.

In practice I have found what starts as a casual mention sometimes blooms into a cathartic conversation. It feels good to know you’ve found another team-mate. That you’re not a “crazy tree-hugger”, and you’re not alone. There are more of us than you think, and we’ll have more power pulling together in our number. For me, the reassurance that I’m not alone in concern for the planet helps make me more confident installing changes into my own life. It makes my little changes feel valid and appreciated.

I put this to you now. Try to engage more people in your daily life, and see how good it feels scoring a few for the team. The more people we get thinking about our collective well-being the better chance we all have. You’ll start to more firmly install changes in your routines, and the people you interact with will start to install changes, and the people they inspire will install changes. You have the potential to encourage real change to unfold and spread in your world. With any luck the validation of these interactions will hopefully get us all to a a place where we’re more comfortable being vocal, more engaged, and before you know it we’re making real movement.

Go plant some seed,

Caryn Ann
”the meek rising”