There’s so much in motion locally and regionally around better land use, electrifying transportation, and improving County efforts that sometimes it makes my head spin! (Could I turn that spinning into an alternate energy source, I wonder?) The efforts which have blossomed into ripening fruit are many. An extensive interconnected web of cooperation is getting stronger by the week between FACS and other groups, such as Sierra Club, the NAACP, the Coalition for Smarter Growth, and Healthy Communities. Together, we are influencing our governments to make very serious choices about how to build walkable communities, reduce energy use and pollution, and help our children and youth live with hope.
Let me make a plea here: there are maybe forty people actively monitoring and meeting with County staff and officials, sharing information and policy suggestions. Beyond that, we need the public outcry when we send out urgent action messages: call or write your Supervisor, School Board Member, or State legislator.
We have new opportunities to work with FACS: we need a volunteer to coordinate with Fairfax County on distributing energy efficiency kits in lower-income areas, and a techie person to work on a team advocating for solar in our communities.
I’ve been with FACS for a short and lively six months, and it has brought me great joy! If you are feeling eco-anxiety these days, and want to put that energy to good use, let me know how you’d like to help: being in purposeful action always eases anxiety!
Here’s a way of thought I’ve been exploring as I read Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer:
One of the sources for inventing a different way of living is Indigenous wisdom. Instead of asking what the natural world can give us, we ask, “What can we give back? What does the natural world want from us?” When we go out into nature, whether along the Potomac or in a park, if we listen, we can feel what the earth wants, and that we are a part of something marvelous and alive.
Is it hard to imagine what we might give back? Everything we truly need has been supplied by the earth: air, water, food, shelter, heat, on the physical level. And on the emotional/spiritual level, which slows your heart beat and feeds your soul: time in traffic, or listening to the birds or the wind? What care in return can we give? That’s a question worth exploring.