Just One Question.

EatMoney.jpgI have just one question today. Which feels liberating, quite frankly, given my usual internal interrogation. Can I really call myself an Earth lover if I’ve never. . . ? Do my children remember the time that I . . . Where did I get the idea that a person my age could . . . Did my neighbor see me. . . . .?

On and on, it gets boring, even to me, and yet, like a river rushing down a gorge in springtime, it’s a never-ending deluge.

But, by some miracle today, I am consumed with a single query: When did this road map of scowling, laughter and drinking lines become etched in my face? In the dewy glow of early morning in my bathroom mirror, I see none of this criss cross of creases, folds and gulleys. Which proves I’m not awake until much later in the day. Or is there some magic in the lighting above the mirror? If only I could live my life bathed in the glow of GE soft light LEDs.

Then I catch a glimpse (that is all I can bear) in the harsh glare of public restroom lighting, and the reflection of the withered remains of own face horrifies me. I want to curl to the floor, suck my thumb and rock. But public restrooms, ew. So I’ve stocked up on the “aging gracefully” supplements, the anti-wrinkle “smoothies” strips, and a highly-touted facial massager. I want to believe, with all my heart and soul, that any of this will make a difference.

It suddenly occurs to me that this is the same way I feel about Earth. I want desperately to believe that we can undo some of the damage we’ve done. Or at least stem the tide eco-cide. If only there were smoothing strips for garbage patches, supplements to ensure the survival of pollinators and massagers to ease the agony of climate change.

I keep searching for news to give us hope, and I thank the Good News Network for providing it.
And still a single news report about the current administration’s continued assaults on the Only-Planet-that-Supports-Life-as-We-Know-It squelches all my optimism. Will the drive to extract dollars from our life support systems never cease? I’m reminded of a t-shirt that I owned waaaaay back in the 1980s that read:
Only when all the last tree is dead
The last river dammed
And the last field paved over
will we realize that we can’t eat money.
Back then, I thought all my studies would teach me what to do to avoid such catastrophes. And yet, here we are, over 400ppm CO2 and an administration hellbent on adding fuel to the fire.

Just when I’m reaching for a solid dose of funny cat videos to revive me, in comes a link to a podcast from a trusted friend. “Listen to this,” Grace wrote, without explanation. The podcast was lengthy, so I put it off. . .  until I realized the cat videos weren’t helping.

So I tuned in to “Food Independence & Planetary Evolution,” a Rich Roll podcast with Dr. Zach Bush (see here). Listening to a frank review of all the things going wrong with our soils, our way of growing food, our health and the biodiversity of our planet was wrenching. It’s a wonder I maintained my sobriety. A species going extinct every 20 minutes?! Depressing as it was, I persisted only because of my friend’s deep spiritual practice. There must be some redeeming value here.

And then came the moment of rapture. Or so it sounded to me, at the time. The shift in tone was so unexpected that I nearly spewed the raw organic almonds I’d been chomping as if my life depended on it. Dr. Bush shared a perspective that jolted my own perspective of our place in the Universe like an earthquake. In a good way.

If you’re also looking for a different perspective of Our Place In Time, say, from the speed-of-light level, I highly recommend the video. If you don’t have the two hours (or therapeutic almonds) to devote, cue up that video at about the 1:38:00 mark. That’s where he starts to talk about Death, and, kid you not, that’s where it all turned around for me.

What does it say to you? I’d love to know. Please comment or email me. The more we share, the better we will be able to respond to these extraordinary times in which we live. We need all hands on deck to face the myriad of eco-challenges before us. May we support each other, best we can, with the tools we’ve been given.

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  © Cheryl Leutjen