chronic illness, disability, environmental illness, global extinction, interconnectedness, Love, MCS, multiple chemical sensitivities, New Year Resolution, pesticides, Rachel Carson, Silent Spring, toxic fragrances
Today would be Rachel Carson’s 107th birthday. For those who are unfamiliar with her — she wrote the book Silent Spring (1962) that propelled the environmental movement forward. But unfortunately, we as a species have done what we have so often done. When we become comfortable even if it is with our own stupidity — the destruction of (at this writing) the only livable planet — which will lead to the extinction of our own species. Rachel raised the alarm bells of the use of pesticides and how their application didn’t just kill the aphids or the dandelion as the chemical corporations claim — they are killing us and all the other species on the planet.
Rachel’s quote is THE MOST PROFOUND words ever written to me. Whether we view things from a physical or a spiritual perspective — WE are ONE. When I push the publish button today others will read my thoughts — they will have some kind of response to them. My thoughts are not mine alone. If all I do today is breathe — somewhere others will breathe in what I have exhaled. My plants will receive the carbon dioxide they need to make food. My breath is not mine alone. When I garden today multiple species will be affected. The plants I pull and place on my compost pile will transform into nutrients for other plants. The birds are over-joyed when I turn soil and rocks and expose tasty treats (bugs and worms) for their culinary enjoyment. The plants give me beauty and food and oxygen. The birds and woodchucks and bunnies and snakes and newts come to visit. My garden is not mine alone. There is a steady stream of cars and buses heading up the road to the elementary school. The exhaust from their vehicles enters my air space. The cigarette butts tossed from their windows lands on my yard. The toxic chemicals from the air fresheners in their cars permeates my cells. My personal space is not mine alone. My personal space is at the mercy of what 7 billion other humans choose to do at this moment.
We as global citizens stand at a fork in the road. If we continue down the same path we are on — we had better find another planet because this one is becoming so contaminated soon it will not be livable. But what if we chose the other fork — the one that leads to co-existing with nature — the one that puts the health of ALL species — of the ENTIRE planet FIRST — no excuses — no greed — no indefensible need to annihilate our species. Would you willingly walk into a gas chamber filled with toxic gas. Most do it every day. The gas chamber is the toxic “fragrance” in our personal care products. The gas chamber is the toxic chemicals we apply to our lawns. The gas chamber is the burning of fossil fuels. The gas chamber is Love Canal and the Tar Sands and oil spills in Valdez and the Gulf of Mexico. We have one atmosphere — one thin layer of water that makes this rock of a planet unique and livable — a minuscule amount of top soil to sustain our crops and as a species. Is the way forward to add more toxic chemicals — more pollutants — more waste? Or is the way forward to live a life that follows the belief that in nature nothing exists alone and we have no right as an individual to take away some other person’s or species’ right to survive and thrive?