Sunday, 11 November 2007

Sprout your kernel, Green the Earth

It's easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at all the work that needs to be done to make this Earth a better place for our children. There are definitely days, especially towards the tail end of winter, when one just feels like crawling under the covers and giving up on the whole enterprise.

Whenever I start feeling that way I remind myself of the grain field metaphor. It comes originally from Albert Schweitzer, but it came my way through our local woodsy sage Robert Harrington.

The day before a seeded field of grain greens up, it still looks totally black. Then suddenly one morning the field is a tender green. The whole field turned green because each individual kernel of grain has sprouted and come up. It looks like it happened overnight, because much of the process happened underneath the ground to start with. As any gardener knows seeds have their priorities straight: Roots first.

You can't take on the whole world. You are not responsible for the whole field, or for the weather. Your job is just to sprout your own kernel. All the small green gestures add up. Take a cloth bag to the grocery store. Plant a garden. Shop for food at the farmer's market. Connect with neighbors. Turn down the thermostat and wear a sweater indoors. Ride a bike, take the bus or carpool to work. Support fair trade organic businesses and so on. Do what you can, let the rest go, and live joyfully. Positive vibrations are good for the planet. Appreciate what is, and give thanks (to Whom it may concern) frequently.

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