Alarming evidence stands before us. It’s impossible to ignore. Call it what you may...the result of a pest that got transported across the ocean and found its way into a foreign landscape that it quickly called home...and soon after devoured...continues to devour daily with its voracious appetite. Leaves turn from vibrant green and golden yellow to ashen brown. Swaths of landscape transform before our eyes making summer look mysteriously like winter, when barren trees abound.
How nice it would be if Ash were the only tree species rapidly becoming but a sweet memory. This fall, when green normally gives way to magnificent hues of yellow and red, I see premature brown in every direction I turn...on trees of every kind. I see evergreens that have cast their lower needles and branches becoming more skeleton-like with each passing year.
These changes before me...the impact of our, MY, human existence...are impossible for me to ignore. I told my daughter this morning that we are striking for Climate Change on Friday along with other concerned citizens across this globe. She asked, ”But what can we do to fix it mama?” My face went flat then flushed with anger at the existential problem we all now face...that we are passing on to her generation and those that will follow. This existential problem is about our existence...yours, mine, hers. The hardest truth to swallow is that I’m not sure we can solve this one. We go to great lengths to make our children comfortable and safe. But the many provisions we have been conditioned to believe will achieve this end are really just more products sold to us by the same marketing gurus that got us into this hot mess! One thing I know for certain is that I will sure as the hell-fire burning in the Amazon do what I can to sound the alarm and clean up my act.
I will march on Friday with my family.
I will tend our land with regenerative practices.
I will support my spouse in his efforts on that front too.
I will eat veggies and limit my meat intake.
I will call my politicians and Wisconsin Public Radio whenever there is an opportunity to share my two-cents.
I will use less water.
I will bring my own thermos or water bottle.
I will bring a packed lunch in reusable containers.
I will lead our Green Team efforts at work with a renewed vigor and bring home our gathered compost weekly.
I will write and blog about my love and concern for this planet.
I will do all that I can to impart a deep love and appreciation for our shared home.
I will shop at thrift and consignment stores and turn off lights when I leave the room and replace light bulbs so when they are on they pull less from the grid.
I will drive my car into the ground and use my own bags to carry goods out of the grocery store...or any store for that matter!
I will call my politicians.
I will march and strike.
I will call my politicians.
But are these things enough? Does my own carbon footprint net out at zero? Will my efforts do anything to resurrect these trees...to bring the life back to their marrow and the color back to their leaves? I fear that we have set a wave in motion that has taken on a momentum of its own.
While my heart is heavy at the changes I see before me, hope and urgency rise within my belly firing me up to do more. As the earth is warming, my heart’s desire is boiling over with yearning to expand my positive impact in whatever way I can. The sickening truth is that somehow we have created a human condition such that we begin to leave a heavy carbon footprint from the moment of our birth...nay, from the moment we are conceived and the ritualistic buying on our behalf begins so that we can be safe and comfortable upon our arrival.
As I look out at the ever changing landscape before me, I will reach out to make connections with those in my community who see what I see and who feel compelled to sound the alarm and take action. I will then continue to roll up my sleeves, wipe the sweat off my furrowed brow and do the hard and collective work of cooling down this beautiful blue planet to ensure our existence for a little while longer...mine, yours, hers. Will you join me?
I'm Kelly Isabelle.
Full-time workin' mama & spouse aspiring to live a slowly paced, sustainably minded, creatively expressed, clutter-free life shared with kindred folk.