While I am off on hiatus, I’ve asked Karen Hanrahan, our newest Culture Scout, to guest blog. It’s my pleasure to introduce you to her.
My name is Karen Hanrahan. I’m a green activist, blogger and recently I was added to Patricia Martin’s roster of Culture Scouts. I have to say, that really rocked my world.
On August 4th, a group of like-minded green moms launched a blog carnival. They plan to write monthly about specific topics in relationship to green. The result was a collective for ideas, brilliant writing and sharing. This month’s topic is Global Warming and below was the post I, Karen Hanrahan of Best of Mother Earth submitted this:
Imagine yourself in the woods, surrounded by silence, sprinkled with light as it peeks through the trees. The hush envelops you, and you are reminded of peace and harmony. Nature does that. I have such an awe for the way nature speaks to us. It reminds us. It calms us. Nurtures us. Nature nurtures me. I was taught to respect nature, to leave the campground as we found it as they say, or better. In the woods we find ways to use sticks, berries, and tree stumps. Look around, make do with what you have. Improvise. Be resourceful. How inspirational nature is!
The fall after my first divorce had us switch to a new school. That first morning on the playground I was desperate. I had just landed a new job and I had no one to watch my kids after school. Hi – my name is Karen – I’m new, can you watch my kid ? I so hated the way that felt. Later in the year, I took on my first project as a school mom and volunteer. The project was about creating something bigger than us, something that left a deep footprint. Something ever lasting. The image of that footprint really meant something to me. I wanted to be remembered for the good I brought to the world.
My project 12 years later is still a function of 5 grammar schools in the district. Kind of cool. Global warming and nature tell me something different. They inspire me to tread lightly. They warn me that it’s better to leave not a single thing behind. They shout at me and says leave the campground as we found it – or better. No footprints.An article in national geographic years ago took all the plastics found in a typical American home and put it all out on the front lawn. It was a 2 page spread of junk, or things at the time I didn’t even know were plastic or petroleum derived. I was shocked. Ever since then I have had this silly image in my head.
What if graveyards instead of marking our resting place with a headstone, stacked the remains of our household instead? Can you imagine what that would even look like? Here rests Jane Doe with enough plastic stuff to float someone around the world. Here’s Jane Doe with a paper stack as tall as the sears tower. Here’s Jane Doe with more chemicals than a chemical factory. Here is Jane Doe with enough food in her fridge to feed a family of 12 and then some. The mere thought of this has had me reconsider not only my demise – death by plastic or global warming. It’s also had me reconsider my consumption, my needs, my wants. The shift is slow and frustrating.
An entire society does things the way they always have. Me? I am learning. I am deciding otherwise. I personally want to be remembered for the footprint I don’t leave behind. I want the peace and harmony of the woods to still be there for others to enjoy. I want my resting place to have a very small stack.
What about you ?