The other day as I was typing the words, “How can I stop…” into Google, I noticed the most popular search results Google suggested were….
– my period
– sweating so much
… way down in seventh place was “climate change?
Spiralling into existential despair I posted a screenshot of the search – evidence we were surely doomed as a species.
My wise and practical friend Gav responded, telling me to change the “I” in my search to “we”.
I tried. The first seven results for “How can we stop” were….
– climate change
– plastic pollution
– coral bleaching
Gav called it, “The power of we over I” and it reminded me of Christine Watts’ reflections after groups of volunteers helped her salvage a bushfire affected garlic crop over the past two weekends.
How can we rise beyond this thing called “the fires?”
Yes, money can help. And it has. And it will continue to be a part of the solution.
Yet our experience as a family over the last week has been an absolute eye opener.
OriCoop and Ceres in Brunswick have paved the way for community led recovery. We were contacted to see how they could help and support us to continue in our organic business post the fires.
A group of volunteers came to help us in any way that they could. And yes, their person power was astounding. A group of people, who on the whole didn’t know each other, joined as one united force to hold the space for our organic garlic business as we collectively processed garlic for our regular customers, who were patiently waiting for their overdue orders.
So much beautiful donated organic and biodynamic produce was carried into our house to feed the volunteers, and ourselves, that it nearly covered my kitchen floor!
We even had our very own caterer, who with every meal, nourished our bodies, hearts and souls with delicious life giving food. Thank you.
And so today, we delivered one of our larger orders to Goodmans in Bairnsdale. Without the help of volunteers, this would not have been possible.
A million thank yous.
These gorgeous people, whom we didn’t know before Thursday, held our hands and hearts as we realised our normally brilliant elephant garlic was not suitable for its normal purpose. The fires continue to take their toll for so many people who thought they were nearly through the worst of it.
They also helped us see there were solutions. Solutions that no doubt we would not have imagined possible amidst the busyness of recovery.
The greatest gift we received over this time, and as a result of the fires, is connection.
Connection to people who simply wanted to reach out and say, “We are here to help.” With no hidden agendas, no ifs, buts or maybes. Simply the desire to be of service.
Yes, communities need financial support.
And from where we sit they also need to know that you care. That many people care and will continue to care until this job of recovery is complete. How long will this take? No one knows.
What I do know, is that human connection is what we need most. Because this connection will help us all see the light at the end of the tunnel. Connection for those recovering, and connection for those that feel like they wish to help in a profound way.
The support we have received has been brilliant. More than you know, you have supported us and helped us to rise beyond the ashes.
Christine and Chris.
Blue Sky Organics.
The opportunity to be of service, to be part of a “We” instead of an “I” takes our hyper-individual focus off our snoring, sweating, farting, drinking problems and shows us we’re part of something bigger.
All over the country community climate groups like NUCA (see their poster below) are creating opportunities to exercise a wider “We” focus.
Working together, taking the climate-grief we’re suffering as individuals and turning it into collective action.
It’s a change in perspective that just might be the key to getting ourselves out of this mess we’ve created.
Have a great week