Thursday, May 26, 2011

Squash islands and the land as our soul

My squash hills look like islands in my garden at this moment. We’ve had nearly three times as much rain as usual this year. Yes, three times. The sweet peas are ready to pick, if you don’t mind walking through the mud.

People have brought up global climate change to me multiple times today. I’m trying to retrain myself to use that term rather than calling it global warming as that really is a misnomer. Some of the “change” seems to be resulting in more extreme weather patterns. This morning my husband wondered aloud if we in Kentucky are transforming into a tropical climate.

With that on my mind I interviewed someone today who started a solo Catholic Worker movement in West Virginia. She spoke about how she sees God in the land. She also shared the insights she’s gained in becoming part of the “family” that inhabits the holler where she lives. “The land is their soul,” she said, explaining that for generations their families have clung to that ancestral place regardless of the difficulties inherent in living in a rugged, somewhat isolated place.

That discussion connects with the work she does to raise awareness about the problem of mountaintop removal. Although a coal company owner would, no doubt, bristle as my use of the word “problem” (it is a solution to his quest to make his company profitable), I’ve heard too many stories about the polluted streams, the cracked foundations, the family graveyards that have been buried beneath what was formerly the top of a mountain. It’s all part of a quest for profit and for electricity. We all participate when we turn on our computer or read by the light of a lamp in the dark.

Perhaps my island squash hills are one result of how we’ve lost touch with the way we must care for the earth so it can continue to sustain us. As I make asparagus and goat cheese pasta for supper tonight, I’ll be thanking our little piece of earth for nourishing that asparagus. I’ll also be considering what my personal role is in ensuring that future generations have the same luxury.

1 comment:

  1. What a great post, it's funny how we take some environmental conditions for granted sometimes. This season has definitely brought it into perspective for us.