Engaging With An Impermanent Earth
A Slow and Steady Spring Breakout
There’s a fundamental quality to life—Buddhists call it anicca, or, impermanence. Essentially, things are always arising and disappearing. Nothing is permanent. These changes arise and disappear according to karma, or, the idea of cause and effect, but we should be careful about applying a lens of morality or punishment around them because that’s not necessarily the context these ideas come from.
Especially in the West where we haven’t been taught to perceive things as intrinsically impermanent, we can hold a lot of baggage around change. These sorts of moral discussions around whether a given change is good or bad can be exciting and interesting, but they aren’t what I’m writing about today. Instead, I just want to start with a recognition that all of life is in a constant state of change. This idea has profound meaning for how we perceive climate change, and how we choose to engage with the social and ecological injustices of the world.
Facing Ecological Grief Together
Aside from the snowstorm in December and the polar vortex plummeting temperatures for a few days, this winter was mostly mild. My greenhouses weren’t able to sustain plant life over the off-season, but I’d like to try planting earlier in the Autumn next time around.
I was however able to grow some collards beginning in February, and I started most of this Spring’s vegetable garden from seeds in February too. Aside from the collards, everything else has been very slow to take-off. I definitely think I started planting rather early this season, (which is fine because it’s making everything grow hardy), but in the future, I may want to either start seeds inside or wait longer. Inside, I was able to do some Lions Mane mushrooms, and would like to continue exploring growing them as well.
My Resilience Will Not Be An Ableist Apocalypse
The catastrophe colloquially called ‘climate change’ is matched in immensity by the breadth of human emotional responses to it. From denial to numbness to anger and everything else, we are intimately feeling our planet’s health. But the more I write about this, the more I realize that identifying the problem isn’t really the answer we need most right now.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s a definite time to write educational pieces, alarming pieces, and articles that confront the scale of our situation to keep us humble, informed, and ready to take action. But that’s the key: don’t we need to spend this precious time doing something about our environmental problems, rather than just talking about them?
Pushing Through Ice: Resilience in the Changing Climate
When I was five or six years old, I remember finding my mom asleep in bed with her shoes on. Not ten minutes before, we’d been getting ready to walk to the bus stop together. I tried to ask her what she was doing, but she didn’t respond. She didn’t say anything. She curled deeper into the bed and waved me away.
About an hour later, the phone rang. When I didn’t answer, it rang again a few minutes later. Finally, I picked up and it was my dad who was shocked to learn I was still at home. Over the next twenty or so minutes, he walked me through begging my mom to drink a soda. It was my first real understanding of what it meant for mom to be diabetic.
Experimenting With Bee Hotel Placement
Early spring has always been my favorite season. February’s crocuses and daffodils pop up from snowbanks and beds of pine needles. Crows give way to bluebirds and robins. And all of Carolina comes back to life in the pinks of cherry trees, the purples of plums, the magentas of redbud, and the stark gold of forsythia. Us dedicated gardeners weather the last cold rains in galoshes and straw hats to scout the plain public landscaping where we’ll drop seeds in the coming weeks. From squirrels to bumblebees, all of nature is shaking off the winter’s reign.
Over the last year, wild bee advocacy has become one of my clearest passions. While there are lots of ways we can engage in advocacy for these animals, the creation of bee hotels occupies an emergent market niche that I believe has the potential to become as common as birdhouses, given a few years of design innovation and market saturation to reach a wider audience. The effects of this market’s growth could have a tremendously positive impact on dwindling wild bee populations around the world.