Last week I wrote an impassioned call to action for the CERES Appeal; that in the face of our climate emergency we needed to quickly prepare ourselves, skill ourselves up and give, really give, to get something done.
But that all came to a stop on Wednesday when one of our Fair Food workmates lost a family member.
I listened, I commiserated, I offered help, time, space if needed.
I did the things we all do, but I realised that despite working together under the same roof for ten years I hardly knew anything about my workmate’s family.
Why is that, how does that happen? In the last decade enabled by email, social media, my smart phone I think I am more connected to my family, my community, my network than ever?
With the end of financial year approaching I hear myself almost proudly complaining to friends of being too busy.
Taking care of my “important work” only serves to keep me at arm’s length from my children, my partner, my friends, my workmates and my living world around me.
This weekend we’re down at Fish Creek. In our garden I lean against a fence post under a small flowering gum.
There’s chattering in the branches – two tiny black & white birds with yellow flashed wings are flitting from flower to flower feasting on nectar.
I’ve seen these birds countless times but don’t know what they are called. The same goes for the tree – I don’t know what its name is.
These days I keep recalling Frodo Baggins’ confession that after living a life amplified by the power of his magic ring he feels spread thin like butter across too much bread.
Social researcher Hugh McKay says in these hyper-connected times two million of us are feeling our souls spread so thin the anxiety of it is making us ill.
After my CERES appeal newsletter went out last week I received an email gently reminding me that money wasn’t the only thing people could give and that I had forgotten about time.
Fair enough I thought as I read, but now I get it.
It’s not going to matter if we raise $1 million, $10 million or $10 billion to fight our climate emergency, if we can’t also slow down and get deeper with the people and with the living world that’s right in front of us.
Have a great week