I don't know about you, but I wake up with my mind teeming with questions that are my responsibility to answer. What should I blog about? How will I sell the idea of an internal carbon price? How much is left in my discretionary budget? Which NGO can best help us accelerate and scale our efforts?
And I fall asleep overwhelmed with the big questions. Can we summon the political will to act for the well-being of future generations? Are economic growth and sustainability able to coexist? Will the public start to care about climate change again?
But in each of the past three months, I have had an amazing opportunity to experience the power of forsaking the "?" for the "!". Of being in situations where the one and only expectation of me was that I relinquish the desire to "do", open my senses, and just take it in. Each experience deserves its own blog (if not book), but let me share a highlight (and photo) or two from each:
October: Our beautiful grandson was born. The future generation, the one that will live with the changes we are making to our planet, has a face and a name.
November: My departing board meeting for EcoLogic took place in-country in Honduras, with hands-on activities in the rural communities served by the organization's amazing staff and partners. This country has the highest murder rate in the world - but it also has spectacular natural resources not the least of which is the determination of its rural communities. These communities have come together with a little help to create self-governing water management systems that have, by their testimony to us, reduced infant mortality, lowered the rate of intestinal disease, and recovered dying rivers and forestland.
December: The Antarctic. Wow. Home of so much about which we know so little. Just when we thought we would never see anything more beautiful, we turned around and were proven wrong. Centuries of weather history in the bands of a single iceberg. The power of wind and water to render us defenseless. Fragile ecosystems shifting before our very eyes, a bellwether of ocean acidification and climate change.
Sure - from these experiences I am pondering meaning and drawing conclusions. And yes, they have raised even more questions to which we must find answers. But for a few amazing weeks, they reminded me in the most powerful way possible of the answer to the most basic question of all: "Why?"
Give yourself the gift of remembering why...
...then get back to work, because we have a lot to do!