Published June 5th, 2015
Many greetings from Vine Pergola on this World Environment Day! The Pergola has an amazing message to share with us today, this day pronounced by the United Nations as a time for "encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment."
I know many of us are tired of hearing for so many years the gloom and doom stories of what is happening to our natural world: the destruction of our ancient forests, pollution of our water resources, the loss of wildlife species that will never return to planet earth, and global climate change that is altering our landscapes and ways of life. The debate is still raging in scientific and political communities as to how many of these changes are a result of natural evolution of our planet versus problems created by humans -- our thoughts and behaviors.
The thing is, us humans are part of the natural world. Where our skin ends is not all we are, in fact, our porous skin surface is in constant interaction with the air, space, environment and other people and life forms in our orbit. You can feel it, right? You put more clothes on when you feel cold, wear less clothes when you feel hot, delight in conversation and fun with people you enjoy being with and avoid others who do not nourish you.
While I personally continue to listen to news reports revealing new data about how altering the world's ecosystems may or may not be contributing to climate change, I always remember what I shared with my students in my Environmental Sociology classes at the University of Washington 20 years ago:
Even if scientists find out that the earth is going to warm up regardless of what humans do to it AND if some ingenious humans create technological solutions to 'save' planet earth, would you personally truly want to live in a world with no trees, toxic rivers, lakes and oceans that you can't swim in nor eat the fish, and, spend all your days and nights driving on concrete and living in concrete boxes???
To me, it is not rocket science. I can tell you, every Friday morning when I walk into Fairchild Gardens and practice my walking meditation through Vine Pergola, my whole being feels good. A truly natural energy pulses through me; my consciousness easily expands to connect to the plants, vines, birds and lizards. An amazing feeling of peace comes over me, it is like a drug, with no unfortunate side effects.
Imagine this...even if you personally rarely spend time in 'the bush', think about how its very existence is critical to maintaining a balance of clean oxygen for all of us, a habitat for creatures who deserve to be here just like us, and, for giving off a calm, peaceful energy into our shared air and space.
I know it is hard to feel like you can do anything worthwhile to make a difference in keeping this planet and its natural resources healthy and happy now and into the future. But hey, isn't it better to do something, however small, to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem?
If you need some (new) ideas of what you can do to change some of your behaviors to be more nurturing to the environment -- and by association, nurturing to yourself and others -- have a look here. Find simple things you can make into new pillars that structure your days and lifestyles. It is all a practice, you just have to do it, we all have to do it.
This was the message I got from Vine Pergola today. I hope how I shared it makes sense. Enjoy, and Happy World Environment Day to you!