10.13.2007

becoming a better steward

Sometimes, I get so overwhelmed with this path. This path that I have found that is full of so much information and statistics and numbers. Numbers that say there are 24,000 people who die every day from hunger...facts that show me that perhaps someday soon there will be no glaciers and temperatures will rise to a degree that doesn't sustain life as we know it now. Sometimes...it all looks so big.

And I think about how one little person can make a difference...because there is always so much to consider. I try to remember the fragility of this earth...that there is only one...and that she is abundant, yes, but that we take her for granted and we distribute her resources so unfairly...and that we take and take and take...mostly without concern for where it all comes from. It is really tempting for me to fall into this helpless approach to living my life...what can I do...I am only one person? When I face my challenges like that, I just get overwhelmed and that is when I have to stop and think about what makes change. Change comes from groups of thoughtful, committed people who want to make a difference. I can be a part of that group of people...I want to be a part of that group...and I have been making steps in my life to simplify...to "live simply so that others may simply live".

When I lived in the slowness of Flagstaff...it was so easy to be a part of that continuum...to be on that track that made decisions about the environment. It was convenient to buy locally because I was surrounded by local businesses...it was easy to eat less meat because so many restaurants catered to that kind of lifestyle...it was easy to thrift and walk everywhere and get information about climate friendly practices because it was a liberal college town. It was easy to question consumption because I saw so many people asking the same questions around me. This town, I would say, is on the right track towards sustainable solutions for the earth.

But, I don't live in this town anymore...I have fallen away from that ease and comfort...and being conscientious about my lifestyle choices here is always contraindicated by the pull of "convenience". It takes more active seeking and researching and all too often, I fall short of following my intuition on what I "should" be doing. It is easy to turn a blind eye to what is going on globally when you live in a fast city...where the disconnect is great...where everything looks the same...where corporate domination stares you in the face...and every time you leave your home, you are prodded to buy this and own that. It is harder for me to find my voice.

But, there are changes being made and I can see that each day. There is a shift taking place...like we are on the edge of great change. The city is constructing the light rail...public transportation....it is becoming more popular to buy handmade and to look for fair trade and union labels on our coffee and tea...people are driving hybrids and buying organic. I think about the changes...and I think about what I am capable of doing...and it all gets brought back to this point of me challenging myself to make a bigger difference...to take bigger steps...to talk about it more with people...to acknowledge that it is REAL and that if I have the information, it is important to ME to start being more proactive in what I know is good.It means choosing to be curious about the changes I might be capable of making. Can I go completely cloth with diapers instead of just using them when we are at home? Can I drive less? Can I reduce and reuse before I recycle? Can I shop more at thrift stores and garage sales? Can I be better at supporting local businesses? Can I use less water and electricity? Can I sun dry my clothes? Can I learn more about harmony with the earth from different cultures? And then, can I bring all of this into my life and really live it? There have been a lot of questions that I ask myself...and I am finding that the convenience of what can be harder on the earth really isn't all it is cracked up to be. The past month or so I have been going to the Farmer's Market each Saturday to buy my produce and other groceries...and it has not only been convenient...but it has also been a great experience for me to share with my babes. I already think about where my food comes from and wonder about who harvested it...I might as well take it all a step further and buy that which I feel good about supporting... I also like the idea of committing to only eat out at local restaurants when/if we do. I find that the more I sit and consider the small and big changes I can make...the more ideas come to mind. For me, the most important step that can bring about greater motivation in my life now is to start talking about it more...to find communities of people who have similar concerns and desires and who are looking for ways to make changes in our lives. I also seem to get better connected with the importance of all of this...of the urgency for becoming a better steward of the earth...when I spend time in nature. If I allow myself to connect in that way...to get outside...to appreciate relationship with myself and this earth...my heart and mind get better aligned with living my life in a way that honors and respects this earth. And then I can look up and feel surrounded in hope and have confidence in knowing that I am a part of great change. That is what I want for my life. If you have some similar wants...check out these links...they might be of interest! http://www.myfootprint.org/ http://www.newdream.org/ http://www.earthday.net/ http://www.earthsite.org/ http://www.thehungersite.com/ Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

6 comments:

cassie said...

beautiful pics (as usual) jess! wow! the planet we live on is so loving to us. good job for making a difference with the way you live and love.

Simplicity Wins said...

Yup, your my granola girl! I have been calling you that since the day I met you, I think you were 16, maybe 17. I love that part of you. Where is this farmers market you speak of? I would love to help you start your own veggie garden if you would like....let me know! The pics are beautiful as usual! Love you granola girl!

Jme said...

It's so easy to consume without thinking what it is doing to the world around us and what that means for generations to come. If everyone would change 1 thing for the better...can you imagine what a difference that would make! Thanks for sharing your ideas and for for making us all stop and think, if even for a second, about how we can make positive changes in our lives that will affect us, our children, our grandchildren. What kind of world do we want them to have to deal with. Let's do all we can today!
Love you sista!

Auntie Vee said...

You go girl! Anything worthwhile takes more effort....unlike most of us who take the path of least resistance! Love the pictures.

rebecca said...

jessamyn, i came across your site thru lunar musings and visit often. first of, i absolutely adore the picture of you and your daughter -- so maternal, so magnificently beautiful. she's becoming quite a cutie.

second, how great and wonderful of you that you participated in the Blog Action Day. You expressed yourself succintly to how many of us feel about the environment and what our simple, humble contributions are.

Thank you so much for that and for being the voice many of us found hard to put into words. And when one person reaches another and makes them understand and then that person does the same in turn, that is how collectively we all make a difference.

daisies said...

i am so walking this path with you love ... holding your hand even :)

thanks for the fantastic links ...

i found a new organic grocery store today which had a restaurant where we could have a vegan breakfast and i smiled at all the people there, we are a growing community for sure .. xox