Ring Out the Old!   Bring In the New!

by Christine Maccabee 

“As certain as the turning of Fall into Winter,
     there can be no stopping the changes,
             for change is the very nature of Nature.” 

~ from Life Poems by Christine

Life changes can be challenging, sometimes sudden, sometimes sad or happy, but at all times, occurring.

To say that we are the captains of our own ships, or fates, and can choose the direction our lives take, is far too simplistic for my taste. There are many subtle, and not so subtle, things occurring inside us and around us, that also determine the course our lives will take.

Some things are not a choice, like a wildfire or a mudslide that consumes our home, precious possessions, and sometimes the humans and animals we love. I think of the horrible mudslides in Central America recently or the ongoing wildfires in California. Was there a choice for the homeowners in California? I guess the choice was building one’s dream home near forests, not realizing factors way beyond their control were looming on the horizon. Once the combination of drought, heat, wind, tinder, and a power line that fell or a campfire left unattended happen, they had very little control. I think most of us in Upper Frederick County are counting our blessings to live in such a relatively safe place. I know I do!

The question is: What DO we have control of? Daily, we all work on how we can make better choices for our lives, for our futures, and for our children’s futures. There are so many unknowns at play, I dare to say that there are, indeed, no answers to fit every situation. Ultimately, we must ride the waves with all the wit and will we have to survive. Perhaps, that is the only real choice we have, to use our wit and will to make sense of and learn how to make the best of whatever situation comes our way.

Somewhere I saw, maybe on Facebook, that it isn’t correct to say that we are all in the same boat. Rather, we are all in different boats, but on the same ocean. I like that. However, I believe we could also say that we are all in it together, here on this planet we call Earth, this unique blue marble floating in space, all sharing the same air and water, though some have it much worse than others. The hope is that as we work to save others, including wildlife, from pollution and climate disruption, we are also saving ourselves and our planet as well. I am always thrilled to read about people who give their lives to save habitat and wild animals. I think of a few who touched me with their courage such as Jane Goodall and Julia Butterfly, who lived in a huge Redwood tree for over a year, ultimately saving it and the grove around it. They are my heroes, along with so many others.

In the New Year, it is all our problems to figure out what course we will take for our lives. We consumeristic humans have made a huge negative impact on the environment. So, the wisest of choices are needed to be made as to how to cross that ocean with leaky boats—and they all have leaks. We likely will not all make it, but we must try our best. Not trying is not an option, either on a personal or political level. We can all do something, no matter how small.

Yes, the Old has affected us in unavoidable negative ways, though there have been many positive ways as well. So, now the challenge is to fix the leaky boat, embrace the inevitable changes with courage, and build on the Old to create something New…or at least, something Better!

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