OK, I know that my high school English teacher would be less that happy with the title of this column. (I was apologizing to her as I typed.)
Moments of impatience and irritation are not automatically grammatically correct. I imagine you have your own New Year start-up concerns. Our less-than-perfect world, coupled with our perfectly imperfect selves, almost guarantees it.
Here’s mine for 2016. It is as complicated and simple as this: Like it or not … it turns out our global climate actually is changing (noted just in case you may have been a die-hard cynic). Don’t get me wrong, unlike some; I was grateful for the warm Christmas. I grew up in Florida. This, however, keeps me in conversation with people who still live there; they were less than cheery about summer weather weirdly encroaching into winter. They see what is coming — unavoidably coming — unless we all wake up for real.
Glaciers are melting, the water level is rising. Warm weather “out of season” is increasing the threat (and new reality) of increased agriculture interruption, floods and hurricanes. Granted, you and I will not immediately be the ones in the highest impact area, although I admit tornadoes make me more than nervous (we have kin in Moore, Oklahoma).
The weather patterns are not the same as when we were children. If we are wise, we will begin to invest in our own ability to change. After all, it would be more than disquieting to go out one morning to pick up the newspaper and not be able to see your neighbor’s house across the street, like they faced last month in China!
So, are ready? Let’s engage in some valuable-to-the-planet-and-all-living-thereon and therein!
Here are a few possibilities:
1. Discover your carbon footprint (there are easy access online and in-library resources).
2. Wear your new Christmas sweater instead of turning up the heater. (It will make the giver happy as well as the planet.)
3. Walk or ride a bike. (Recapture your childhood joy at the same time!)
4. Call the Delaware Community Market or the city and get the date to sign up for a garden plot, and then share your spring veggies with our local food banks. (Poverty is also real.)
6. Prepare for spring now – then plant less grass and more perennials, especially bee-friendly flowers. It’s a win-win – food to share, lower water bills and less mowing.
7. Consider “greening” your home. Check out solar panels, “tankless” water heaters, low-flow toilets, and water-conscious shower heads.
8. Grow relationships simultaneously. Add one new personal initiative a month and share it with your neighbor.
We are on this planet together. May all we say, do, buy, grow and nurture ease suffering and increase care for all creation.
The Rev. Janine Wilson serves as the association minister for the Central Southeast Ohio Association of the Ohio Conference, United Church of Christ.