The disconnection of people from nature and our limited planet (and our place in it) can appear in unexpected places. This week, as my partner and I have begun a practice of walking through the neighborhood for greater health, we took a loop through a nearby park, Recreation Park. This park has been in place since the founding of the city, first as a fair ground and racetrack, then as a ball field and finally an urban park with fields, a pool and a community garden. One of the characteristics I love best about my neighborhood is the centrality of this park and its enormous trees, that never were clearcut or farmed.
As we walked, I anticipated passing the biggest oak in the neighborhood–an enormous living thing that must pre-date white settlement of this area of SE Michigan by many hundreds of years. It take at least three people’s outstretched arms to encircle its trunk.
Someone had spray-painted a smiley face on the bark of the venerable ancient white oak.
Clearly that person has not formed a relationship or connection with nature, nor formed a sense of our place in it.
The Transition Town movement is the way that has spoken to me most clearly about how to reintegrate human lives with the life of the planet. The #Occupy movement has gained so much momentum, but I ask myself, Can #Occupy do more than simply protest what is? Can they imagine and help us get to what is not yet?
Here’s an article from the Post-Carbon Institute that asks some of the same questions that have been occupying my mind. (Heh, heh, heh. Hadda do it.)
And another that brought tears to my eyes of how the justice movements all connect with #Occupy.
We can’t address economic instability, peak oil and climate change without addressing these justice issues.