Friday, March 20, 2009

Life is a highway

Adam Shake from Twilight Earth is back this month with another guest post. Read more about Adam at the end of the post.

When was the last time you had a song in your head that you just couldn’t get rid of? Well I’ve had one in my head all day. No, I take that back. That’s a lie. I’ve had “Life is a highway” in my head all week long.
Well, life's a road that you travel on
There's one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind
-Life is a highway by Tom Cochran
Now I don’t believe in coincidence, so why has this song this song been worming it’s way through my subconscious all week, and what exactly does “Life is a highway, and I’m gonna ride it all night long” mean? I want nothing to do with highways, or cars, or oil or CO2 or….. I’m about as deep green as you can get and if you knew how I “really” felt about some things, I’d probably be banned from the internet. You’ll never find me lying on a beach, and my idea of a vacation is living on the side of a mountain above tree-line and eating wild blueberries for breakfast.

But I digress. I think I’ve got it figured out. I believe that I’ve been contemplating this Environmental journey that I’ve been on, wondering not where I’m at, but how I got here and where I’m going. Life is a highway, after all.

I was recently interviewed, and as I’m sure Robin can attest to, when an environmentalist or green writer is interviewed, there are two questions that are standard. How did you get involved in the green movement and do you have some green tips for us? It’s kind of a running joke between those of us who do this kind of thing. This wasn’t my first interview, but it really got me thinking? How DID I get here? Where am I going?

How I got here isn’t as important though as how you got here. How did you get to the point in your life where you find yourself reading Robins blog, right now? You could just as easily be reading any other type of thing.

What drives us down the highway of life is not ourselves; it’s the people and things around us. After all, if we didn’t have anywhere to go, we’d never get in the car.

Some people realize that we all live in one big house that we call earth, and that by taking care of it, protecting it, we care for and protect the people we love. Turning down the heat at night, buying locally grown organic food, recycling and breathing fresh air tells our spouses and children “I love you.” The people we love have brought you here.

Some people realize that we have an intrinsic relationship with the natural world. This is a relationship that we have know for thousands of years and have only within the last couple of hundred, forgotten about. The world around you, outside your home, car and office has brought you here.

Some people realize that though the onus of responsibility for the environmental catastrophe we face can be laid at the feet of “Society,” there is something in them, which takes some of that responsibility upon themselves. Your integrity has brought you here.

Some people have people in their lives who respect them for caring for the ones they love and humanity in general. These people ask you questions. They respect your answers. They look to you as an example. They could be your friends, your co-workers or your own children. The people who count on you and look up to you brought you here.

Some people disagree with you. Some people think that you are being silly, or worse yet that you are crazy. Some people may even call you pretentious. Some of those people are vested in a consumer and energy consuming lifestyle that does not allow them to change without giving up certain things, and those things have a higher priority to them than working toward a sustainable future so that their own children will be able to live some semblance of a normal life. The people who hurt our home have brought you here.

Some people think that we have to solve a problem before we can fix a problem. We live in a world of instant access to any type of information. Want to know how to build a house? It’s on the internet. Want to know how to talk to your teenager? It’s on the internet? Do you want to know what day your wedding anniversary will fall on in 12 years or what your body fat index is or how long you have left to live based on your lifestyle? It’s on the internet. Want to know how to solve Global Warming? Uhhh, hmmm, I can’t seem to find that. What, you saying I’m the cause? Well umm, there’s no such thing! Skeptics and deniers have brought you here.

Only you know what brought you here. The question is, where do you go from here?

In Don Henley's “Boys of Summer” he says, “Out on the road today, I saw a Deadhead sticker on a Cadillac. A little voice inside my head said you can’t look back, you can never look back.”

It’s kind of like that, isn’t it? Is there any looking back now that we are here? Can we ever go back to our care free consumer lifestyles? Would we want to? The farmers market I go to is a great place. Garden raised vegetables, picked right off the vine in my own yard taste so good. Plants grow so much better when the soil comes from my own little composting bin. Putting my toilet paper rolls in my recycle bin is like thumbing my nose at the paper companies. But nothing beats being an advocate for a greener world, being an activist and being a writer, except maybe the fact that I’m going to the woods this weekend, and even if it’s wet and cold, I’ll feel more alive than I would sitting in my office a couple blocks from the White House.

There are different shades of Green just like there are different roads. Your shade is different than mine and that’s great. You don’t have to stand in front of a coal plant gate with 2,000 other people and risk arrest, but I’ve done it. Maybe you are a Vegan. I am not. Sometimes our roads intersect, like they have just now. When that happens, there is nothing sweeter.

Today is the first day of Spring. It’s a new season, a season of growth and renewal. The highway of life has brought you to this day, to this moment. This article is the Deadhead sticker on the Cadillac. Please don’t look back. Please never look back.

Adam Shake is the founder of
Twilight Earth, a blog that brings news and excellent commentary on what is going on with the environment worldwide that we need to care about. Whether he's educating about the environmental impact of things like coal or simply sharing his breathtaking photos of nature, I always learn something at his site. Visit Twilight Earth and look around (and check out my guest post on his site today).

On his blog he says "I’m about sharing with you what I know, what I’m learning, and what I’m ignorant about in reference to this huge subject that we call the environment." That's what we appreciate around here.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Anonymous said...

What a powerful post. Thank you for sharing your thoughts... may you always find wild blueberries!


Poddys said...

Very nice enjoyable article.