Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What if....?

I have been trying to write this particular entry for some time now; there is something I am trying to get at, something in my heart that I want to say. Something ineffable which, like a spirit, is following me through these days and nights. Its presence giving me strength as I ride. 

On Friday, as I road home in the dark, the snow just beginning to fall (The streets quiet, my toes and fingers turning into icicles), there was something then, and something now, something of the gift I feel to be alive - how lucky to be here in Nanaimo  – walking and riding in the snow.

And yet – I want to write about my heart, I want to write about the heaviness that is there. Katie and I are making a small, perhaps even insignificant, change. However, it is a change that we need to make, and yet, I wonder if it is the change that will bring about what I long deeply to see.

What I long for, is not for you to stop diving in cars, not even for you to make your own changes - but want I long to see, in my lifetime, is for someone to take the greatest leap of faith...

I want to meet someone whose perspective has shifted radically, I what to know the person who has transformed their seeing from - self and Earth, to something more like - self as Earth. And because it has to start somewhere I am looking for the signs of transformation in Nanaimo, and I don't know what it will look like. But I am hopeful.

And I wonder - What if one person, even right here, what if one person woke up one morning, (this morning even), and saw that she had been living a lie - that in fact, all this time, she had never been separate from the Earth. And in that moment she would know (in every cell of her body) that to harm the Earth is to harm herself, to spit on the ground is to spit on herself.

What if this person, young or old (out of her great care for herself) begin to treat everything, and everyone, with love and a feeling of protection. What if this happened right here in our small town, not in San Fransisco, or New York City; not in Classical China, or Ancient Greece; not even in the monasteries of Nepal or Tibet - but right here, right now in Nanaimo – Wouldn’t the world begin to also change? I don’t know, but something of this notion has been following me through these days and nights like a whisper, a question, a what if…

And I think this is not so imposable. Awaking or enlightenment, comes sometimes in a flash, and other times it is a practice. The possibility of imagination is limitless, we, as humans, have split the atom, we have gone to the moon.

And all of this started in the imagination, one morning someone woke up and said "I wonder if we can go to the moon?" and we went; I wonder what would happen if we split the atom?" and we did. And so I wonder what would happen if we started to practice awakening, that is, I wonder what would happen if we started to practice seeing the Earth (including everything) as a part of ourselves. What would happen if a handful of us, ordinary human beings, started to practice seeing the world as not distinct from us, but seeing it, rather, as a part of our own bodies? What would happen? 

After all, we did go to the moon, surely this cannot be harder then the mathematics that went into splitting the atom. I mean in comparison to Einstein, this seems pretty basic.

What would happen if Katie and I vowed, instead of not getting into a car, but vowed instead to practice seeing the world as a part of ourselves for a year?

What would happen if you did it? 

Where would we be then, twenty, thirty years from now? Imagine practicing awakening, meeting everyone with reverence and love, holding the world in your heart as a part of yourself. Imagine...
Just Imagine. It all has to start somewhere. This is something of the spirit which has been following me, whispering in the wind "Imagine....Imagine, what would the world look like then?"

Monday, October 25, 2010

One of my all-time-favorite things about life!

One of my all-time-favorite things about life, about being a human being, about having friends, is the precious moments when a friend says just exactly what I need at the right time.

Today my good friend Lorill thanked me for our blog and told me that we had inspired her to walk to work this morning. Wow! 

I have no words to describe exactly the impact of this on me. I felt as if she had, by sharing, given me an incredible gift, and her timing was amazing. Not only was I totally inspired by her (and her walking) but also, simultaneously, I felt completely supported by her to be doing what we are doing.

And why was today such a great day for me to hear this - because this morning the ride to school was difficult. The rain doesn't usually bother me, but today - just to get out the door, just to strap on my helmet - to pull my 10speed out from under the dripping stairs - just to get going, for whatever reason, this morning was a challenge,  

So anyway I have been thinking about it for the last couple hours and I think she really offered me something that is so simple and yet so easy to over look.

What she said wasn’t only “what your doing is cool” which is a kind of support, what she said, rather, was “what your doing is cool and I want to do something too” which is something greater then support – it is inspiration, she was inspired and now I am inspired to continue. Does this make any sense? I am trying to work it out here – I think this is important. She read our blog and felt inspired and supported to walk to work – then she shared with me her inspiration and I felt inspired and supported to continue riding even though it is raining.

Anyway, I need to get to my homework, but please think of someone who has inspired you and then send them an email right now to tell them, to thank them for what they are doing, or what they have done, which has inspired you. Believe me - it makes a difference.

On a side note, does anyone have an old pair of fenders they would like to donate, or sell to me for cheap. Also anyone else who doesn't have fenders, sidewalks are always (for some reason) dryer then the road, so ride high and dry - but watch out for those lovely walkers.. ;-)

Much love

Friday, October 22, 2010

"Author lives for a year without car and finds a world of beauty on foot and bike"

Trevor (a friend of mine) shared this link with us.

This guy spent a year refraining from driving his car and flying in airplanes. Instead of relying on carbon-emitting transportation, he traveled by foot, bicycle, and sea kayak, always staying within a 100 mile radius of his home in Puget Sound. And he wrote a book about it..

"This much is clear to me. If I can’t change my own life in response to the greatest challenge now facing our human family, who can? And if I won’t make the effort to try, why should anyone else? So I’ve decided to start at home, and begin with myself. The question is no longer whether I must respond. The question is whether I can turn my response into an adventure."



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Why we ride for green

In the wake of what happened in the gulf and the unavoidable evidence of rapid climate change, we have vowed to limit our own transportation to biking, walking, and public transit.

Although it has been difficult, the biggest difficulty has been explaining to people why we are doing this. Most people don’t understand. So I have been wondering are we crazy? Can we do this, why are we doing this?

Then last weekend as we left our house at 6am, not a car on the road, a sky full of stars, and an icy wind at our cheeks, some form of answer did come. I realized that as much as it is difficult to bike 2 1/2 hours to Saltsping for Thanksgiving dinner (and back) in one day, as much as it takes great effort, it is so much more painful not to do it. To sit back and watch the world go to hell is unbearable and is far worse then the effort of riding.

So we are doing what we can with what we have.

And I have to say it feels fucking fantastic! The despair that I have lived with, the despair that I know we all feel, the sorrow that I saw in Katie’s eyes as we watched the plums of oil pour into the gulf on the news, the pain of seeing the wild pelicans covered in sludge, the deep pain of knowing that we can be so much better at caring for this earth, is transforming from hopelessness into action. And so I say let us begin. Let us no longer wait for tomorrow, let us not wait for something else, someone else, or some other time. It will not be easy, we will want to give up, but it is so worth it, this planet, which has given us everything, is so unbelievably worth it.

With this blog we will share our hardships and joys, our doubts and fears and our freedoms along the road as we pedal for a greener future.