The Age of Restoration begins today
How to hold the tension? How to stay awake, touch and enjoy joy, and not collapse under the weight of reality as we have and are creating it.
Off to the Briarpatch to get supplies for the garden - another newspaper showing the carcass of a huge grey whale washed up dead on the west coast. I didn't need to read the news to know what or why - I knew - but I read it anyway. 70 whales in 5 months (that anyone has actually seen or have washed up) Emaciated. Starved to death. 55 million years worth of evolution being snufffed out like the street light oil we used to slaughter them for. Like the hundreds of thousands of dead puffins washing up on Akaska shorelines. Starved to death.
I crumple. Again. I look at the supermarket shelves - the machine that we have created to chew up our world. I think about the magnificent whales, seals, penguins, walrus's, sea birds - and of course indigenous ways of life quietly sliding into deaths due to empty seas. The people further north literally feeding the orcas with caught salmon to try to stop them starving to death. The less than 200 salmon in a river that used to host over 50,000. The reality of empty seas. How many species already gone? I'm stopped in my tracks.
So Keep breathing. Keep going.
Something in me is both hardening and softening. Softening in the grief of letting these leaving beings settle into my heart and soul. Hardening as I watch myself become even more unequivocal about seeding the Age of Restoration as I witness the reality of the masses watching this unfold with an unwillingness to give anything back at all to the natural world that has given us everything. Even reluctance to plant trees to clean up the carbon we're emitting everyday that is creating this extinction crisis.
We're losing Her.
I work like a dog to try to reforest our world, and I tell myself to not take these vast losses personally - but it is desperately personal to me. Every species created within the web of life, with its unique place within the food chain - every extinction cascading others into starved oblivion. Our species galumphing around like bulls in a china shop shredding a world full of miraculous interconnected beings of profound intelligence that we discard utterly because we haven't developed the subtlety to hear them.
I sit here in my garden - filthy and sweaty from digging, planting and watering in thick soil that we have tended and loved - so utterly and completely privileged to even HAVE a home and a garden in this world, thinking of the billions with no rich soil, baking temperatures, dwindling water - and somehow I - we - have to hold the tension and stay awake and joyful - and proactive. Grateful and awake to what we have. Compassionate and inclusive towards those that don't.
And I need to do more.
I'm thinking of reaching out to companies who make tick repellent and asking them if they will donate crates of the stuff to send to Alaska to help protect the indigenous peoples now besieged with a tick epidemic (having never even seen ticks till late last year)
I'm thinking about starting a campaign to make Nevada City farmed salmon free. We have to end the lie of salmon farming being anything other than a desperately sick practice that poisons fish, people and sea - and weakens the life force of this world.
I just can't watch this stuff and not wade in and try.
I want the joy of hearing myself say 'we're up to a million trees a month!' I don't want to wait 5 years to say it - I want it now. I want to feel the momentum of climate awareness turning to willingness, to generosity and to love in action. I want this new norm of EVERYONE giving back and understanding it as a privilege not a burden or loss.
I want the Age of Restoration to begin today and for everyone who reads this post to say - ok - I'll start giving back through trees to clean up my carbon. And if that's you, and if you say yes - and if you go to TreeSisters.org/donate and help us restore the global forest - then know that your gesture matters more than I have words to say.
We have had the privilege of taking this world for granted and she has given us everything. No child will ever know that again.
Now, if we want to take anything at all for granted then there is huge repair to be done. Fast. We need to work for it, consciously, respectfully and lovingly.
That is our future. That is our now.
I'm all in.
I pray you are too.
May our caterpillar consciousness slow down, let go of its old form and find its wings. May we become all that these times ask us to become.
Top moth photo courtesy Clare Dubois
All other images various artists on UnSplash
Clare Dubois, founder of TreeSisters is an Earth loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker who worked internationally for 18 years facilitating groups, coaching business leaders and creating behaviour change processes within the personal growth sector. Clare is leading the TreeSisters campaign; focusing on network development and the empowerment of women. She has been developing the ethos and principles, the team and organisational culture, the campaign strategy, the framework of the Maps and behaviour change materials. She is committed to the creation of an evolving system that learns as it goes and continually models itself upon the flows and forms of living systems.