After last week’s post, I think Bookman has resigned himself to me putting in a little pond in the spring. At least, he hasn’t said anything about it. Possibly he is instituting countermeasures. But if there is one thing Bookman is truly bad at, it is keeping a secret, so if he is planning pond-evasion maneuvers, I will winkle it out him eventually.

High on my triumph I went to the urban farm store yesterday to bring home something that Bookman had also said no to. Alas, they do not keep them in the store. I had to pre-order and I will be able to pick them up when they arrive at the store on Friday or Saturday. What am I getting? You’ll just have to wait and see! I am very excited about it, however, and Bookman, well, not so much. I think after this I need to leave the poor guy alone for a bit before springing anything else on him like how we might go about installing a gray-water system that diverts the dirty water from the washing machine and dishwasher out into the garden in the summer to water the trees and shrubs (planting the seeds my friends, planting the seeds!).

A few garden posts ago Cath left a quote in a comment from an essay in a book called Vital Signs: Psychological Responses to Ecological Crisis. The public library did not have this book but the university library did, so I borrowed it. The book is made up of essays by psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, specialists in education, ecologists, human geographers, and others. It is broken up into six sections each with a different focus moving from context to what to do in response to the crisis both as a layperson and as a clinical professional.

I’ve just finished reading part one today, “Context.” The essays here set the stage for ways of thinking about the environment/nature and humans. Viola Sampson in her essay “The darkening quarter” suggests one of the greatest difficulties with climate change is not knowing. We don’t know what to expect or when to expect it. We know things are changing but even with all the models and projections climate scientists offer, when it comes down to it, we still don’t know what the outcome will be. The uncertainty and unpredictability makes us feel powerless and vulnerable. She also talks about grieving for the things we are losing and will lose, honoring that grief, but then also using it to create a new relationship and understanding of our interconnectedness with the environment.

It is interconnectedness that is stressed in the other essays of the section, how we as humans are part of the ecosystem even if we refuse to acknowledge it. We have always been part of it. Paul Maiteny in “Longing to be human” argues that our consumerist society and our constant search for meaningfulness by buying more things is because we have mentally set ourselves apart from the environment. In fact, he says, our desire to consume is a pre-human biological need; the more resources you have, the likelier you are to survive. Instead of getting back to nature by asking what we have in common with other species, Maiteny wants us to look at how we differ. The biggest difference, we have the ability to consciously choose what we are going to do with this planet. In order to feel interconnected with other humans and the environment and to get off the mindless cosumerism treadmill, he advocates a return to the basic ideas contained within all spiritual practices, the idea of the sacred, of divinity within and without, of contemplating the wonders of creation and our place in it.

Lots of interesting food for thought in these essays so far. Section two is called “Other-than-human and more-than-human” and looks to be just as interesting and thought-provoking. I happen to also be reading Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam, talk about a great reading conjunction!

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