I’ve been thinking about “taking it back” lately.
Taking it back to a time when we, as a species, were more friendly, more open, less afraid, more kind and carefree.
I’ve been thinking about the 70’s. You know, taking it back to the 1970’s vibe.
Driving into Tofino the other day, driving my mom’s van (which is slightly larger and slightly more camperized than my van) 2 people waved at me on the road.
I don’t know if it was a van recognition thing, as they were both driving vans similar to ours or what.
But I liked it, a lot, and I waved back furiously.
I remember as a child, riding on the back of my dad’s Honda 1200, you would wave at every biker you passed.
Or rather, give the peace sign was the way we did it back then.
Back then, there was a camaraderie, an ease about being human and recognizing another human on your journey, acknowledging them as a kind and friendly soul who might lend a hand if you needed it even though they are a complete stranger.
Tofino is big on pedestrians and bikes.
Pedestrians and bikes are god here, which I love.
When a person decides to cross the street here all traffic halts.
It seems to be the general rule of niceness here and if you flout this rule, you are deeply scorned by all in the vicinity, so it socializes you real fast to the culture here and you learn to slow down and think about others before yourself real quick.
On the day we arrived, there were two lovely young women waiting to cross the road, not at a crosswalk, but on the highway into town.
I stopped for them and gave way to let them cross anyways.
They skipped across with big smiles, waving their take out bundles at me yelling “I’ll give you a bite of my burrito!!”
Aaah, we are back in 1978 right there.
I answer her by opening my mouth big and wide as if to take a big bite of her proffered burrito and she erupts in joyous laughter.
It is in these shared spontaneous moments it is a joy to be alive and to be human.
Emphasis on BE HUMAN.
What IS that anyways, to be human?
It is surely not to be riddled with anxiety and guilt most days, curled up and too paralyzed to LIVE.
It’s just not.
It’s just a place many of us find ourselves, as a result of the current state of affairs.
So you know... I’m thinking about this concept of “taking it back” and thinking about how and when did we become so uptight, so fearful, so anxious and uneasy?
It occurred to me... it is hard to be groovy (and I love this word, by the way, because it encapsulates ALL of the above sentiments in a nutshell) when the world is clearly falling apart around our ears as a direct result of our human existence on this planet.
Things are not as they were in the 70’s.
These are serious times we are living in and serious things are going on.
On my morning hike to the beach this morning, I started to think about how rampant anxiety is these days and I realized... it’s no wonder so many of us experience anxiety when the sky is falling.
If you are someone with even a modicum of awareness or sensitivity, you are going to feel the seriousness of the state of things these days.
The real question is... how can one NOT feel anxious at a time like this?
I have a tendency to want to stuff my head in the sand about these things.
I get overwhelmed and paralyzed easily by this and as a result, cannot do anything good for anyone or anything, including myself, so I have a bit of denial that I employ to be able to move forward and function on a daily basis.
Stick my head in the sand syndrome, I call it.
When I arrived at the beach, likely due to the new moon, the tide is the lowest I have ever seen it here.
Beaches that are normally under several feet of water were exposed and so I walked in places that are usually deep, deep under the sea as a result of the low tide.
Sea grass and seaweed, starfish and sand dollars, anemones and shellfish and all the wondrous creatures and plants of the underwater world were exposed to the light of day.
An eagle sat high above his nest, taking in all the view and when I approached, he took flight and swooped over my head.
The beauty of the area is something that quite literally takes your breath away and caused me to begin to cry.
I cried for its wild and wonderful beauty and I cried for what we are doing to this beautiful planet.
The ocean speaks when you listen.
I think the only thing a person can do (because curling up in a ball and hiding under the bed isn’t really an option), is to affect the things they can in the small circle around them.
We can change ourselves and we can affect our immediate sphere. I guess its the ol' "think global, act local", but really, Tofino exemplifies this.
You can’t get a plastic bag here (I haven't seen one).
Your take out spoons are all wooden, cups are made of plant based materials, take out containers are all paper and cardboard. People will simply not tolerate anything else.
There is such an awareness of the environment because you are living so close to it and in many cases, relying on it for some part of your lifestyle.
So I am thinking, based on this... I might make the executive decision to focus more on planetary care in our fundraising with "Yoga with Everything", more than humanitarian.
More humans are not what we need.
Without a healthy planet to live on, saving people is sort of a moot point, isn’t it?
We need mass consciousness to shift in the direction of change for the planet.
Maybe we can take it back.
Maybe we can be both friendly and kind and at the same time become fierce and focused about making changes in the sphere that we have influence over.