The World I Love
This autumn I find myself once again in Alaska, where I teach Eurythmy to the children in the Waldorf School in Anchorage. This is a stunning country, with high mountains, an abundance of wildlife, and more open land than any other place in our country. Alaska calls to the bold, the adventurous, the pioneers who want to live in an unspoiled place and meet nature, undiluted.
Here in Anchorage, the winter is rapidly approaching. We are currently losing nearly six minutes of daylight each day in this season. When I arrived, the trees were still green and fully clad: now, the aspens stand golden on the surrounding hillsides. The bears roam the hills in Denali, stripping the bushes of their blueberries. The rutting bull moose are beating their antlers against trees, simultaneously stripping off the velvet that covers them and evoking a mighty trumpeting sound that proclaims to the other moose that they are there, they are in heat, they are looking for moose cows!
Summer this year was sweet in Anchorage. There were far more sunny days than usual, and the lack of rain made for far fewer mosquitoes. The temperature however in the upper 70’s or into the 80’s, and people could wear clothes normally worn in the “lower 48.”
There is, however, something eerily amiss with all of this. In this heat, wildfires are raging throughout Alaska (as in the lower 48), and they are even burning on the permafrost. The glaciers are melting and receding at a rate that is visible to the naked eye–yes, even to mine, an occasional visitor to the state. The rising sea levels are making dozens of small native villages along the coastline uninhabitable, with the result that they must be moved back several miles from the present short. And because of the ice melt, the Arctic Passage is now beginning to be opened up to shipping, for the first time in long ages of geological history. Nations are already poised to battle each other over “ownership” of the region, and the one-trillion-dollars worth of natural resources to be found at the pole.
I was here when President Obama visited this beautiful state last week, and am jubilant at his powerful call that we move to share this earth, this earth that we love, with the introduction of ecologically minded solutions. Some say we have already reached the tipping point: others still say there is time to act. In any case, inaction would be inexcusable.
What can you do? Get an energy audit for your home, and act on the results you see? Collaborate with your neighborhood to save resources? Today, for the first time, I am using the eurythmyonline platform to send out an urgent ecological message to our communities. Climate change is real: it’s very real. We cannot close our eyes to it. Join in, and do what you can!
In Homer, I knelt to the ground, and kissed the earth. “Thank you” I whispered, “for holding us as we walk upon you. Thank you, for your beauty, your nourishment, your steadfast support.
“And tell us, please: how can we help you?”