I knew about climate change for half my life. I knew about the greenhouse effect and the disappearing rainforest. I knew we were heading in a bad direction. My life went on as before. What changed? Why am I now waking in the night, my adrenaline fizzing? Why am I obsessively reading the news? Why
We were visited by an 88 year old Reverend Canon, the friend of a member of our Buddhist congregation. She joined us for service, chanting nembutsu, circumambulating around the tall golden Buddha, and bowing as far as her body would allow her to. Afterwards over decaffeinated coffee she spoke of a retreat she’d recently attended.
Yesterday I became a skull person and, with fellow rebels, walked slowly and silently through the streets of Worcester. We were delivering a letter about our disappointment in the County Council, who have failed to declare a climate emergency. As I walked, I felt sad. Everyone was going about their business as if nothing was
When I think about the dying earth right now, I don’t feel a thing. Swathes of denial are shifting around me, like layered suits of armour. This denial gets a bad name. We think that we’d be better off without it, and others too. Surely if everyone had their denial pulled away from them, people
On waking, I read of Hurricane Dorian. These extreme weather furies have always happened on your body, Dear Earth, and crushed us like ants under an elephant’s foot. The scientists tell us that we have already made the weather gods more capricious, and that in the coming years more and more of us will be
Before my first cup of tea, I sat in the temple garden and looked out across the mist-pooled valley. The sun was bright and there was an autumnal freshness in the air. As often happens, our little dog Aiko climbed onto my lap and observed the morning with me. Laps are good places to be.
The lights are on and I’m sitting up in bed with my laptop. There are three cats on the bed, one of them purring. The temple is quiet. Earlier this evening twenty of us sat in a circle and explored the facts of the current state of your health, beloved Earth. We were asked how
I want to enjoy you while I still can. That can be difficult when my head fills up with a tangle of plotting and self-recrimination and hopelessness and oughts. I forget to gather flowers from the garden and make posies for my little vases. I forget to pluck a sweet blueberry or two on the
We were watching men and women run alongside the lake. They were two thirds into their 10 kilometres. You were too hot, Earth, as if you had a fever. People were struggling – pouring sweat, beetroot coloured, their bodies moving in tortured caricatures. He was standing next to us. He was calling out encouragement as
I’m just back from a holiday in Shropshire with Little Dog and my husband. As I walked along Ellesmere lake eating ice-cream, dear Earth, I knew that your lungs were burning. How can I sit in cafés or visit castles or read trashy detective novels when I could be doing something to help you, Earth?