Sunday, December 21, 2008
I love the yin/yang symbol. And I love the fact that it describes a dynamic principle. Each half of the pattern contains the seed of the other. Yin contains the kernel of yang, yang contains the kernel of yin. Each seed ripens, enlarges and eventually gives birth to its opposite. I wrote a whole article on that, which you can read here if you are interested. It’s all about balance and how balance of any kind, whether on a personal or planetary scale, is based on this same dynamic principle.
I am writing this at the solstice, as we reach that tiny, still moment when light and dark begin to change places. It is a beautiful moment. Imagine our Earth, as it reaches the Solstice point and just for that tiny moment it touches the limit of its tilt in one direction, pauses for, what? a millisecond? … and then begins its six-month journey towards the other.
Our Earth has reached such a moment in more ways than one. The latest news about the speed and intensity of climate change is such that if we do not act now – right now – to reduce our carbon emissions and to pour all our energies and resources into setting up alternative, clean, green energy systems, there will be no way to halt the processes that will bring an end to our species and most others.
Ever the optimist, I still think we’ll pull it off, even if only by the tiniest, scariest margin. Humans are like that. Push almost always has to come to shove before we act.Remember how, when we were at college, after messing around for weeks we pulled an all-nighter to get a paper written and handed just in time for the deadline? The deadlines of climate change are providing the impetus finally to get us off our backsides and into action.
Not just big actions – billions of tiny ones as well. Billions of small hesitations as we remember the effect of every purchase, every choice we make in our everyday lives and then decide on the greener alternative.
Because the majority of us, I believe, really do care about our world. The spectacular result of the recent US election proves that things are moving, times are changing. A groundswell is happening. I just read, in Orion Magazine, an excellent essay about all this by Auden Schendler, the ‘Sustainability Director’ for a ski resort in Colorado, USA. He says “Climate change doesn’t have to scare us. It can inspire us; it is a singular opportunity to remake society in the image of our greatest dreams.”
Yes. That’s our project. And at this Solstice moment, as we pause to honour the eternal and ever-reversing dance of light and darkness, what better time to remember it?