Here in the global north, we are slightly past summer solstice. Back and forth we go, between the extremes of light and dark, with moments of balance in between. We are literally in constant motion. We race around the sun at just over 107,000 km/hr (67,000 mph), all the while tipping back and forth on our seasonal axis (with some axial wobble as well, just for fun).
We are in constant motion. Do you feel it?
I do, at least psychologically. The pace of our lives seems to be moving as fast as the planet. We are pulled in a thousand different directions. Our everyday lives are a jumble of demands on our time, and it is incredibly easy to be overwhelmed. Occasionally, I’ll read the work of an environmentalist lamenting that people don’t get the seriousness of the ecological issues facing humanity, and that no one seems to be taking those issues seriously.
True. Many people don’t get it. But there are also a lot of us who do. The thing is, even those of us who do get it are caught up in the business and busy-ness of the demands of our every day lives. Things like… well, earning a paycheck (!!) do take up much of our time. We are caught up in the systems of our society, and most of us simply can’t drop it all and become full-time Al Gore or Bill McKibben groupies no matter how much we might like to do so. We can barely pay the rent, much less buy a house with solar panels and a full-fledged greywater system.
We can’t just step away from these 21st century social realities any more than we can stop the Earth spinning along on its journey around the sun.
But burying our collective heads in the sand and going about our business is not the answer. Somehow, we all need to become activists and advocates while still living our daily reality. Time is short and the situation is critical. Activism is no longer an option. It must become as much a part of our daily lives as brushing our teeth and taking out the compost.
I’ll leave it to you to figure out how best to do this in your own circumstances. Join an organization. Write letters. Send emails. Lead by example. Live local. Think global. Speak up. Loudly. Learn about eco-issues, then teach others. Figure it out, then do it. How can you speak up for the Earth? How can you live your beliefs? How can you make a difference? And…how can you do it without burning out or giving in to depression or hopelessness?
Here’s where the spirituality comes in. Having an ongoing eco-spiritual practice doesn’t replace activism. It feeds it. It helps sustain you for the long haul. It nurtures you for a lifetime. Eco-spirituality is the yin to the eco-activism yang. Balanced people need both.
How then shall we live? We are tiny beings, on a planet speeding around a star, miniscule in the vastness of the universe. How then shall we live? We tend to the business and busy-ness, keeping a watchful eye on our priorities and adjusting as needed.
And… we take time/make time to speak up for our tiny planet, our only home. We fight fiercely for our beloved Gaia, because if we don’t do it, no one else will. And to balance it all, we nurture our spirits by grounding ourselves in the rhythms of Earth.
We are just past the solstice. We are on a planet, spinning. We are tiny beings in a vast universe. We are alive. And we have so much to do. Speak up. Reach out. Breathe deeply. Stay grounded, even while spinning wildly.
Photo Credit: photo of activist at a 2007 rally by flickr user Protest Photos 1 at www.creativecommons.org