Last Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, obviously did not turn out the way we expected.
As a new graduate of The Climate Reality Project’s leadership training, one of my early actions (I haven’t done a presentation yet) was holding a “24 Hours of Reality” live-streaming watch party. I’d been streaming since 11 a.m. and hadn’t heard any news all day.
Susan, who arrived early, had just left for home, and Cai, Julia, John and I were watching and waiting on others to arrive when a visibly shaken Al Gore interrupted the broadcast to cancel the event in light of what had happened and in solidarity with Paris (where the “24 Hours of Reality” event was based).
We quickly switched to regular television to find out what had happened – sickening news – and I got busy telling people on their way or who were planning to come the next morning not to come after all.
We had to cancel our party and Climate Reality had to cancel the event, but as disgusting, evil and vile as the actions of the misguided murderous gang was, and as much as the rest of their gang hopes to frighten the rest of us, we can’t live in fear. We can’t let them win.
The same is true for climate change – the reality is frightening, but we must do what we can to change things, adapt as best we can to our new reality, and keep going. Doing nothing to make a difference is the scariest possibility.
But we’ll save that for another time. Today I want to focus on something soothing, at least for me: functional beauty in the form of houseplants. The function is cleaning the air indoors, and the beauty is obvious. Yes, they take a little love and grooming, and some of the ferns can be as messy as house pets, but love them and they’ll reward you. And love you back.
Houseplants have been a big part of my life since I turned 18, and that was a long, long time ago. They’re good for my soul and good for our lungs. They’re also a commitment – I always leave detailed instructions for their care when we travel – and I can’t help but grieve a bit when one goes belly up, as happens at times. But I can’t imagine living without them.
Speaking of travel, if you do, please don’t stop. Please don’t live in fear. That’s not living at all.
Paris, je t’aime.