where seeds of hope live
We are driving through a deep wet canyon, rain accompanying us, when my young son says, "so where exactly does plastic come from?" I get up on my soapbox for a moment and regurgitate some strange explanation of how we make fuzzy soft blankets out of the earth's deepest oldest compost. When I'm done, he's silent for a moment, then responds, "wow, humans are so creative!" Radio silence ensues as my mind catches up to his. I'm astounded by his positive spin on what I consider a negative situation. But yeah, aren't we the most incredibly creative creatures? We then get in to why we humans continue to think it's okay to take this precious resource for our use. I say something about our inability to hear "no", and to consider consent. He shoots back, "it's not that mama. it's because we just don't realize the Earth is alive." Silence again. As I take the next swooping curve deeper into the canyon, I look out to the trees. Towering bay trees, some spindly firs, a couple of live oaks dance along the creek bed we are following. Suddenly the road seems to have more texture, the sound of the creek gets louder, my heartbeat comes up into my ears. In that moment just before this one, he's right, I was not considering the Earth as a living breathing being. It changes everything.
Now home from our adventure, questions re-surface: can I feel that the Earth is alive, right now, as I sit under a lamp hammering out my thoughts on a screen? Do I really know that in my bones the way I imagine indigenous people all over the world know that? And if my neighbor new that, who just paid three men to level an old friendly ponderosa pine in 7 hours flat, would he have reconsidered?
I think my kid is right. We humans are so creative, and have such an amazing capacity to change things but so often we align ourselves with our destructivity rather than our collective generative ability. the seeds of hope lie in our creative energy, not just for our species, but the whole living breathing planet - in which we are included.