I realised I was air today
After years of toying with fire
Getting fingers burned yet
Revelling in the pain
Believing I may be a green witch
A child of the earth
Because I could grow things
Back from almost nothing
Nurturing and coaxing straggling shoots
Back to life.
Then when the house nearly flooded
Over and over
I thought water was mad at me
For not taking notice
For not paying it enough attention
But I realised I was air today.
Standing in the kitchen
The door slightly open
So the cats could run in and out
As they pleased
The wind blew hard and sudden
Trees whipping wildly
And the grass transformed to waves
I felt it
Right down my spine
The thrill of the wind
And I remembered
Laughing on the edge of a cliff
Stormy nights and days made dark to match
Clouds scudding across the moon
Battering door frames and windows
And the slow, elegant breaths of meditation.
Suddenly the rain started
The green garden glinted gloriously
Like a great flat emerald
And the central heating roaring behind me
The fire in my heart and hearth
Of this modern age
And I became confused
With the heat, the soil, the dripping sky
But then the wind howled, triumphant
Clearing the cobwebs away
You are air, they say
Realise, you are air.
May you have a wonderful Yuletide or Christmas, however you may be celebrating or spending your time these next few days. Here’s my musings on the magic of the Christmas Tree over at Pagan Pages:
Let me start by saying that this kind of primer is absolutely essential. We know climate change is a serious issue. We know humans have the biggest impact on the planet. As a society, we understand this. But on an individual level, I think our understanding has that surreal kind of disconnection that means we don’t quite get that it means us. You. Me. Everyone. We all have to change and we all have to change now. Luke’s book is not only a way to reconnect with this truth but guidance on exactly how to do this.
How to Save the Planet is handily split into ten simple steps. Just reading the contents page isn’t enough though. Luke takes each point and expands upon it, exploring the collective sense of denial I touched upon above but more importantly explaining why each action is vital and the impact it will have.
For example, buying less stuff isn’t just an individual’s impact on natural resources and their own carbon footprint, but about sending a message to manufacturers and retailers that demand is dropping and they should make less and offer less in the first place.
Luke also considers reducing the amount of meat we consume- from a meat lover’s perspective. Too often, people presume that everyone preaching “eat less meat” has been vegan for decades and “doesn’t understand” the need for animal-based protein. Luke, like myself, enjoys eating fish and meat but recognises that the meat industry is not only bad news for the animals we eat, but for the wider environment. Eating less meat is achievable and I think hearing that message from an actual meat eater has the potential to have a much more powerful impact among die-hard carnivores.
Luke touches on issues which can be very controversial: family size, travel, and our responsibilities as humans to campaign for a better world. These can be emotional topics, but the more we open up a healthy debate about them, the closer we get to a genuine societal realisation that we can make changes and those changes really will make a positive difference to this amazing planet.
I’m going to read this book to my husband and kids and I’m going to give copies, digitally purchased of course, to all my friends. Please, take a look inside and realise that you are so important and vital and integral to our planet’s survival. You really can help save the world. And so can we all.
Buy Luke’s book here.
Despite the pouring rain, the garden has been full of birds today, primarily blackbirds. They are out in force, braving the weather to get the food they need, to keep themselves fit for the future and the cold months ahead.
I hope we are like the blackbirds. I hope we are out in force, making the changes we need so we can remain fit in the future. Fed. Warm. Finishing work before we die. Healthy without being bankrupt. Well educated- or at least with the choice to be.
Let us stretch our wings and brave the weather. It’s going to get cold, so wrap up warm, ask a neighbour for help, help a neighbour if you can, watch out for treacherous pathways and busy traffic; watch out for each other. Let’s get out there as a community and vote.
I won’t tell you who to vote for. I just hope that you can vote with the most vulnerable in mind. The Conservative manifesto promises to cut funding for children with learning disabilities and autism within four years, plus there’s no money in the first year to support parental leave or childcare. Families will suffer. The promises to the NHS are warped and twisted and don’t cover the cuts already made. And if leaving Europe is your main agenda, if it hasn’t happened by now, I struggle to see how the incumbent party can make it happen. To be clear, I don’t want to leave Europe. I believe we are stronger together, building local, national and global communities on a foundation of compassionate and kindness, to each other and the environment around us.
The blackbirds sing noisily, backing up Damh the Bard and his Sons and Daughters of Robin Hood. This song reminds us of our power, that we hold the key to who remains in power.
If you think that we would do nothing, you’ve misunderstood…
I truly hope that today, together, we do something. Make a change. Vote for a cleaner world, a kinder world, a world where more people have opportunities. A world where gender and sexuality and race and religion and ability aren’t used as tools to divide and isolate people.
The blackbird is the gatekeeper of dawn and dusk, the bird of transition. They indicate change, transformation, and liminality. As they sing now, my heart dips then soars and tears fill my eyes as my anxiety batters me but hope flutters ceaselessly. This is a liminal time indeed. May the blackbirds be an omen of change for the better.