I have been trying to tell the Earth's story in a way that blends science, systems thinking, and indigenous wisdom, as I share the patterns and systems life uses to create and sustain life. The Earth, as life, has values that are reflected in the patterns of behavior we see all around us, and that we call nature. We are seeking direction, but it is already here! Her four intents and sixteen values form a framework that channels life's energy in constructive and interdependent ways. Coming out of our dream of separation, into the light of connection, of interbeing, we need frameworks that remind us how to play well together. By together, I mean interbeing with all other life on the planet. How do we treat other life as kin? How do we hear their voice, before we are able to actually listen? I believe the Resilient Values Framework provides one answer.
That said, nature needs us! We are a keystone species, at the moment, and what we have done, needs to be repaired! I believe it is time to stop fighting those who will not change their mind and start supporting planetary life in every way we can. For me, this means turning to the nature around me and seeing how I can help. Our life depends upon soil. Soil is one of the main ingredients in rain. Without soil, we will not have rain, and without rain, the planet will continue to parch, until life discovers how to eliminate and balance the stress we caused, by denying life so eloquently. I think this is what you sensed, in your statements about my chart (even though it was not 'correct' at the time) when you said I would bring something that would help us all.
We need to be active in providing a counterbalance to those life defying behaviors that currently characterize what Western humans think of a 'normal.' This doesn't look heroic, in the moment, but it will be foundational in the stories we tell each other later. We are only just understanding how the Earth really works. Everyone, every other entity alive, has been charged with ensuring life continues to thrive, only we have resisted and even despised that call. In our hubris, we have only been concerned with our own survival, and in so doing we have been convinced that others living limits our chances of survival instead of understanding we depend upon them for survival. Now we need to use our great powers to ensure, just that, the survival of others. In doing so, we will survive. If we do not then, instead of being a help, we become a hindrance, and that will not be tolerated, it can't be!
I am embarking on a project with my city, Spokane, Washington, to enliven the soil. If we can get the residents to understand their own self-interest can best be served by enlivening the soil they have responsibility for, then our city will become much more resilient to both floods and fires, and the vibrant green we will be surrounded with will also increase our chances for rain while, at the same time, facilitating the refreshment of the aquifer we depend upon for drinking water. This may sound a bit prosaic, and even only bleakly connected to the imperative we do something to fight climate chaos, but it is what is needed now. If we don't address the heat, we will be cooked. Stopping doing the things that are making things warmer, which is our current strategy, is only a part of the picture. Facilitating and supporting the current methods of cooling that nature has already designed is another.
It is my belief that as we put our hands in the dirt and discover how to make living soil, we will also regain that connection and appreciation for all the rest of life, that we have lost. There is nothing more magical than compost. Seeing with our own eyes the transformation of garbage to rich, dark soil, is SO empowering! The magic that other living things create in simply doing what they do best - live - eat, and yes, poop, is so astonishing hopeful. Witnessing that transformation provides testimony to the ability inherent in life, as we know it, to recover fully, if supported by us. We will need this faith to support us as we learn to deal, and help the rest of life deal, with the coming heat.
Join is in The Coming Home Project as we work together, each in our own way, to regenerate and revitalize our Earth.
Kathryn Alexander MA has been absorbed by trying to understand how we should live. Is there some way to actually determine right from wrong and ensure a moral life - and there is. It does not conflict with any religion, creed or ethnic culture. It clarifies and strengthens them all, and at the same time can be independent of them, as it stands on its own. Live in connection with the Earth.