As we traverse the notoriously rough Drake Passage this morning, we know the water is unusually smooth. It allows us to acquire our sea legs gradually, learning the shifting and swaying dance the ocean requires of us. Outside is a monochromatic panorama of dark blue ocean and gray and white sky, both as far as the eye can see.
We are heading to Antarctica, a land of superlatives – it is the windiest, coldest, driest continent – and now one of the fastest warming places on the planet. So it’s a fitting juncture to think about how we, as human beings, react to the news that we are changing this planet.
We have just listened to an inspiring talk from Jill Bolte-Taylor, who speaks of tending the garden of the mind. Jill says, “I care about the climate crisis because I care about mental health.”
She sees the climate crisis as a projection of our mental health. “If we can help shift our society to being more in the present and focusing on the relationship between things,” she says, “then we can communicate at a different level and work toward solutions.”
In short, we have a choice. To live in fear and denial or to choose optimism and affirmation. We have a choice every minute and every day. Over and over again. Too easily we forget this and toss these moments away. But when we drift off, we can come back to this place of optimism.
Just as we have a choice in framing our mind’s attitudes and reactions, we have a choice about how we react to the climate crisis. When we speak of the urgency of the crisis, the hope is to motivate people toward positive action.
It’s a challenge to us all. We walk away from Jill’s talk energized and aspirational, optimistic that we can and will take on this challenge in the way we must: moving ahead, embracing progress, and building a more sustainable way of thinking and living.