How?

9th December 2021

“Now there’s a house that’s tastefully decorated!”, exclaimed Grant as we sailed past. It was festooned with wreaths and garlands, but not too much.

Sadly, Christmas seems to encourage so much tat and it will still be hanging around halfway to Easter.

Though on the whole communities up here are less offensive than many I’ve seen.

Apart from looking so naff, most of the decorations we see are plastic and made in China, the two things I most want to ban from my life.

There is so much beauty in Nature.

Why not just accept what she offers?

Don’t cut down a tree. Plant one.

A few days ago I read about a recent memorial service, at the conclusion of which all the attendees released white balloons. Balloons.

They are terrible for the environment. Even if they were made of “biodegradable material.”

Nice concept. Bad idea.

How did we become such a thoughtless species?

Why do we always assume someone else will clean up our messes? Destroy our rubbish?

As a child I never had a second thought for where all the garbage we created would end up. It was collected and taken away. That’s all I needed to know.

And for years after, it never occurred to me that it was a problem. Surely our leaders worried about that sort of thing? Would take care of it all. Hah!

People ask: “If you could do your life over, what would you change?”

For one thing, I’d like to start out without blinders.

At the end of WW2 one would have to have been blind not to notice the wreckage. How can it not have been a wake-up call for all of us who lived then?

If I had been a little more awake and taken a degree in science, would that have taken me on a more responsible path?

Environmental Science did not come about for a few years after my college days. I confess that I know very little about what environmental scientists do.

But I would guess they spend a lot of their time fighting battles they will never win because their findings are either plain not believed, or just unpopular and financially unsound.

How do you get people to listen?

How do people stand back and watch forests being cut down? While old buildings stand derelict?

How?

How much longer before this beautiful unspoiled land is choked up by encroaching suburbs or “dormitories” for city folk? I hope to be gone before that happens.

Most of my life was lived in suburbs, having left London at the age of 8. There was always noise, dirt, pollution and people. People everywhere and the older I got, the nastier people seemed to get.

In all those years, there was one brief period when I was at a boarding school that happened to be on a tropical beach. I detested the school in every way which makes it the more telling that I remember the joy of the actual location.

The sound of waves on the beach, the crickets at night, amazing sunsets and the moon rising behind our hill. I can still “feel” it.

In fact I was very lucky, that as an airline* employee, I was able to travel to some very amazing places and get away from the insanity of suburban New York.

When I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, I transferred to Seattle where for a time life was better.

But even there, after less than two decades, the city began to encroach and I fled.

*Yes. I acknowledge that the airlines have a massive environmental footprint

To a tiny town in Upstate New York.

My life is simple.

My days are peace.

7 thoughts on “How?

  1. I share your concerns and fears and am thankful that we will never have grandchildren to have to worry about future generations of our family. Having said that I am fully aware that this puts me in the bracket of those who have little, or no, concern for the future because they think it will not affect them. However, I am concerned for the future of humanity and our planet and we do whatever we can to help turn the decline around but we, and the rest of humanity, are not doing enough!

  2. I live on the outskirts of a very large urban area and the “balloon releases” happen almost daily around here. Every time there is a tragic death, it is celebrated by releasing hundreds of cellophane balloons. It makes me sick to witness them. Many cows have died from ingesting the deflated ones.

  3. On our last hiking trip in the mountains, the rule clearly states “what you bring in, you must take out”. For 5 days, we flattened all of our garbage (food packets, tissues, plasters, etc) and put it in a brown paper bag we carried with us in our backpacks – to throw away in the bins at the end of the trail. And still … there were hikers that left their garbage in the huts. That made me really angry – I don’t understand the mentality of people 😔.

    1. I agree. When we used to hike/llama pack into the wilderness of Utah it was called “Leave no trace”, what you took in, you brought back out and you left camping sites as clean or cleaner than you found them. Wish folks would implement “leave no trace” in their daily lives and caring for our planet – that could be the thing that saves our planet… taking personal responsibility for what we do

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