Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Words of Wisdom

We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
- John W. Gardner

I thought of this quote as I biked to work last night. My bike count reached a new all-time high of 64. Basically, in any direction that I looked, I saw cyclists. Some of them parents toting kids on tag-a-longs or trailers, some of them workers returning home with messenger bags and ties, some college students, some kids on BMX bikes, but everywhere bicycles going this way and that.

To my left and right, new front and side-lawn gardens were popping up right and left. I'll try and add some photos soon of all the new creative food-growing landscaping I'm seeing. Clotheslines (or "solar clothes dryers" as right-to-dry activists are now creatively calling them) are flapping in the breeze, and neighbors sit on newly constructed front porches or stand by their garden fence talking. All of these people in ways small and large are taking the insoluble problems we now face and turning them into challenges to be met. Sure, it's a challenge to hang out your clothes when you could just throw them into the dryer in 1/8 of the time (though I would argue that the smell of line-dried laundry more than makes up for that one!) or to get out your helmet and rain jacket and bike off to work. The great thing is that almost everything that benefits the planet really benefits us even more. We get more exercise, more fresh air, we eat better, we know more of our neighbors when we engage in sustainable living. We're not saving the earth, we're saving ourselves.


Wendy said...

It's a very good point that you make - in living more sustainably, we're actually saving ourselves.

And it makes so much more sense to bike to work and reap all of the benefits of that exercise, than to pay for a gym membership and drive to the gym to workout for an hour on a stationary bike or electric treadmill and then drive home ;).

Nancy said...

although I dont leave a lot of comments, I read your blog all the time, and I really love it. We started our very own garden this year (5 earthboxes) and joined a csa so even though we live in a small condo in the city, we are making baby steps. thanks for sharing your thoughts and pictures! :)