Whoever Shows Up
We have a saying in the Transition Movement, “Whoever shows up are the perfect people.” Being in the Transition Movement has made me want to be a better person, not for anyone else’s acknowledgement but for myself that I want to do my best and be more honest with myself. What chose me? First, hydrofracking chose me. (I would rather have been painting.) Could I allow myself to listen? Did I hear? My conscience would not allow me to ignore it. (Sometimes a person or an issue talks to me and I don’t really want listen or hear what is being said.) Later, Transition chose me. It has empowered me and forced me to become a gatherer of information and a writer. I want to prepare people for the future. It makes me want to rise to the occasion and take responsibility for my future and our future. Sometimes I feel a real inner freedom and joy from this act of defiance, taking responsibility. (It always surprises me when a simple act of doing or giving or being, without expectation, opens my world and my heart.) In my own life, spiritual practice has been my preparation for this movement, a tilling of the soil and planting the seeds. For myself now, the real fruit of my (spiritual)practice is in action and connecting with others, the willingness to step up to the plate and take responsibility. Sometimes, when I’m more open, I try walking in the shoes of someone I consider difficult, seeing myself in another person. The most challenging people in my life are usually my best teachers.
For nearly two years, before I joined the Transition Movement, I researched and wrote, and talked about hydrofracking almost every day. I had to stop painting in order to write about hydrofracking because I also had a full time job (in a high school) and I couldn’t write and also paint and work, all at the same time. It was the rape of the earth that we are doing now that really got me. There is a living ecosystem under our very feet and we are destroying it with high pressure sand and water, and over 600 hazardous chemicals. Our oil and gas companies have been committing this destructive behavior all over the world for a very long time and literally getting away with murder. And I mean when you poison people’s air and water, you are making them sick and killing them, that is murder. More and more people are becoming educated about this environmental holocaust (which they keep telling us can be done safely) but when it’s moving into your own backyard, you really sit up and take notice.
I came across the Transition Movement almost by accident. It popped up in an email one day and something about it intrigued me. My reasons for joining Transition came from my most mundane concerns, how to survive if I lose everything and my fear of the future, seeing all the systems we depend on falling apart and the paralysis and inaction of our leaders and lawmakers and then even the jealously, I experienced, of others I perceived as doing better than myself. Mundane and petty concerns, I always try to remember to come back to my breath, and stay present. I’m constantly challenged. For those in the Transition Movement, the real work is just beginning. How do we prepare for an unknown future?
Barbara Adrienne Rosen