Climate Voices

December 20, 2022
By: Susan Phillips, Executive Director

A sacred season of pause

A sacred season of pause - Photo

The Winter Solstice is upon us — the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. The darkness invites us into this sacred season of pause, of gathering with loved ones and beloved community to share stories that bring us closer and enable us to dream about the future. To rest, reflect, rejuvenate, and get ready for action.  

I will soon be sorting saved seeds, connecting with fellow gardeners to swap seeds and ideas, doing some germination testing, and planning the garden layout, taking into account last summer’s drought; what grew well despite the lack of water? 

We are also approaching the Gregorian new year, a time when many westerners engage in the practice of setting resolutions. I prefer to set intentions. How do I want to show up this year? How do I want to practice self care and generosity simultaneously? What things do I want to model?

There is a sense of urgency clinging to me since COP27. Earlier this month the Keystone Pipeline ruptured, dumping enough oil this week into a northeastern Kansas creek to nearly fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. It’s become the largest onshore crude pipeline spill in nine years and surpasses all the previous ones on the same pipeline system combined, according to federal data. Wednesday night, a friend of mine in Johannesburg, South Africa marked herself ‘safe’ on Facebook after floods washed away the houses of hundreds of people.

I am challenged to think deeply and well during these weeks of deep winter and holidaze and to center the climate crisis in my intentions. What actions will I take to honor the planet we live on?  How will I vote for mother earth with my purchases? How will I pay attention to my energy use? How will I engage and activate my neighbors, friends, and young people around a just transition? How do we build the world we want, an economy that is regenerative, democratic, and cooperative, while simultaneously putting the extractive systems to bed? What is our inside and our outside game?

According to a recent poll (Yahoo), the majority of Americans rate climate change as an “emergency.” So what are we going to do about it? What seeds are you getting ready to germinate? What intentions are you setting for this next year? How will you center climate justice in your actions? 

Life as we know it is waiting, and I think we’re all ready and eager to step up.

Susan Phillips

Susan Phillips
Executive Director