I’ve trashed almost all my old drafts.
I’m not the same person I used to be, but no-one is.
My old self wouldn’t recognise me, but I don’t recognise her, because I’m different now. My future self will also be a stranger. She’ll be more, and different.
Each day we get more damaged, more powerful, more experienced, than who we were in the past.
None of our “selves” will never overlap, and that’s a gift. It means we only exist in today.
Despite this, our lives change only marginally each day. We don’t change overnight, each night only brings a fresh day. We’re natural creatures, designed to live in rhythms with nature.
Like the seasons, we change slightly, gradually. We never escape the cycle of renewal, like each year, because we’re part of it.
This “being part of nature” is a core Transcendentalist concept; a philosophical spiritualist movement that believes in the inherent goodness of people and nature. For a 19th century philosophy, it feels incredibly relevant today.
More than ever, we’re alienated from nature and its renewing energy.
Even writing this, I think “How silly, how hippy, how backwards”.
We’ve been conditioned to accept indoors as the default, working full-time as the default, anything else sounds preposterous and fanciful.
Honestly, nature is the realm of privileged people.
They live in the expensive green-belt, spend time outside on holidays or in their large gardens. We’re designed to be outdoor creatures, sat around fires, watching skies… But the clock says no, so we don’t.
A small change I’ve been making for nature recently is my commute.
I’ve been wrestling the bus system, instead of the 20 minute drive to work.* However, it’s a difficult over-priced bus system vs my already-paid-for and effortless car.
No matter my eco-credentials, it’s no contest. The marginal costs and returns make no sense, and worst of all I felt alone in my futile efforts.
I want to stop feeling forced into ethical choices against other people. If we’re constantly at war with each other, we’ll never find peace. I want to learn how to unconditionally accept others.
Pride and outrage will not move anything forward on their own.
The only sustainable way forward is together, even if that means swallowing my pride and learning to stay in my lane.
Next month, I’m going to attend a green-activists meeting in my city. It’s a small move, but all change is marginal.
We’re natural creatures, we don’t change according to schedules, even our own. We change gradually.
So this is me moving forward into the New Year, with hopes for solid, gradual, positive change.
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*Don’t even mention the bike! I love the bike, but it’s cold, I lack the right clothing, the energy, and the time. There’s only so much each person can do, and I hope to use my bike more as we approach warmer months.