Monday, July 24, 2006


The Buddha Garden

The garden is just gorgeous right now ... just about at it's peak. Because of the extreme heat we can have here in Virginia, gardens usually peak around mid-summer, and then begin to fizzle and fry through late August when the days shorten and evenings begin to cool. In September fall bloomers are spectacular with Autumn Joy Sedums often leading the way.

My husband and I went to see, An Inconvenient Truth, on Saturday night. The week before I'd watched Tom Brokaw's special on global warming on the Discovery Channel. Both documentaries were excellent, if you discount the fact that the news is pretty bad. But the best one was Al Gore's film. Throughout the film there were audible gasps from audience members in response to the graphics showing where we are headed. At the end of the movie, you could hear a pin drop in the full theater and at the end of the credits which also listed numerous things that we can all be doing, there was loud applause. People left the theater quietly, presumably deep in thought about the fate of the little blue space ship we call Planet Earth ... our home.

My thoughts turned to Al Gore himself, and I started to feel that maybe it was a good thing that he had not become President. If he had, he wouldn't have begun his journey around the world, bringing to the attention of the global community, our dire situation. His attention would have been locked up in politics ... foreign policy ... homeland security. Not that those things aren't important. They most certainly are. But I believe that our destruction of the planet needs the full attention of a leader who can focus on that issue alone and bring it before every citizen and governmental official in the world.

I also believe that Gore would best serve the planet and its people by not running for President in the next election. He would best serve in the roll he is playing now, being the watch dog for this planet in jeopardy.

I wonder what this garden will look like five, ten, twenty years from now. What plants will be in bloom in July, 2030? What kind of a world will my grandchildren be experiencing? How can we possibly prepare them for the possibilities? Will New York City and Washington, DC be experiencing the beginnings of rising sea levels? Or will we have all pitched in to change the direction we were headed in, with people living more simply and sustainably? There certainly will be changes, but perhaps they will not be as dire as the predictions or maybe they will be. It all depends on each one of us waking up to do our parts.

There are days when these thoughts are like a pesky fly, buzzing around my head ... I swat at it and it goes away for a few minutes, but then it comes back, noisier and more annoying than ever. It makes me crazy and I start feeling low. After a while I get tired of feeling hopeless and helpless and I begin to realize that there are things that I can do.

The truth is we have the technology right now, at this minute, to change the direction in which we're headed. It takes standing up and being counted to do it. It means voting in every election, regardless of how hopeless we think it is. It means turning the thermostat down in winter and up in summer. It means being a little uncomfortable until we get the hang of it and we begin to breathe more easily. It means never taking things for granted ... it means changing the way we do things ... it means being more responsible and braver than we've ever been before. And we can do it!

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