Nancyeclark's Blog


My Rant for today…

I have been talking a lot to friends and family lately…my Mum has not been well at all and I have been trying to keep in touch and let everyone know how she is doing. With my Uncle Bert the conversation has been relatively new to us and thanks to his compassion insight and knowledge…very thought provoking. We have talked about Mum and Dad and friends and family and the stars in the night sky.

Funny isn’t it how something that looks so small, so insubstantial and not so very far away…just hanging there in the sky, is, in reality so enormous, and so far, far away and it inspires and awes me, that the light we see from the stars is so old…back into and past our human history and so much further back into time. The light takes so long to reach us and is so beautiful and bright….

I really do think one of the reasons for humankind’s lack of stewardship of our planet, our technological advancement at the cost of something deeper and more meaningful, the problems we face as a species, are brought on, partly at least, by the continued urbanization of and lack of connection with nature. We live more and more, in places where you cannot see the stars, where you cannot truly see and feel the seasons, where foods are available year round from far, far  away instead of being seasonal and local, where children do not know where their food comes from, what growing vegetables look like, who have never met a cow. We isolate ourselves further and further from our own world, the planet that nurtures us and which we rape and pillage daily. If we grow up knowing only that food comes from a store, how do we care about what it costs to produce it, how do we care about the loss of the family farm to huge conglomerates, how do we care about the death of honey bees, or the cruelty to the animals we eat or the underpaid workers who harvest our coffee and other crops. If gas just comes from a pump…how do we care about a faraway oil spill, the toxic waste in Alberta or Ecuador…the cost to our oceans and marine life…to our air and climate?

We see the bounty (and so much waste) in our stores and are bombarded by advertising for fast food and we do not know what it is like to be hungry, homeless and constantly at risk…we send food aid to countries without realizing that much of what we send is nutritionally deficient, particularly for children…just ask MSF. We saddle poorer countries with so much debt they can never get out from under. We can and do do so many good things…but there is so much more a species so intelligent and creative could accomplish…needs to accomplish. We need to reconnect with our planet or we will never care enough to bring about the changes that need to be made to save ourselves from ourselves. In my own small way I am trying to improve my world and lessen my impact on it.

I live in a small village north of Napanee, between Kingston and Belleville in Ontario, Canada. There are family farms nearby and we try to support them by buying local foods and products..attending markets and going to the fair each year to see the things they grow and the animals they raise. These are important people, the farmers who raise and grow our food…and they do not get the help and support they need from government or from business…local grocery stores need to carry more local food…why should I buy vegetables from California when there are neighbours growing the same things just down the road…or at least in the same province? 

We live in an old house from the 1850’s and are currently renovating much of it to lower our carbon footprint and reduce our use of non renewable resources. It all started with the now defunct Eco-Audit/Green Audit program, one of the best programs a government has come up with, as it allowed some financial help for those in older homes to insulate and improve and lower their costs as well. The program has now been cancelled by our environmentally deficient government, an incredibly stupid decision because not only did it help home owners, it helped the economy through the products and services bought and used by the people in the program. There were contractors hired, work provided, products like insulation, windows, caulking, toilets…all given some rebate help and bought by those using the program.

We had our house and well audited and then insulated our walls,which had no insulation at all, our attic, which had a little insulation, but not enough, added vents for air circulation etc., added all new low-e windows and doors, rebuilt all 4 porches, patched, painted, rebuilt all the old trim and mouldings, did some electrical and plumbing and are now rebuilding the bathroom which fell apart during the rest of the project. It has been a full year of renovations and is almost over….we hope to have reduced our carbon footprint considerably and also our bills…although thanks to the idiocy of the McGuinty government in bringing in the HST, our bills may now go up instead of down and our payback on the whole project will be messed up. It has been a lot of work..both for the contractor and for me, as I have done most of the interior work myself…carpentry is indeed mostly math.

The house sits mid village, but is far enough away from Napanee, that we do get to see a decent view of the night sky…and it isn’t too far away to get an even better view…just north along the Salmon river or somewhere to the north. We are not really in the country and yet it is pretty rural…farms nearby, wild places not too far away…lots of birds and wildlife…coyotes come through most nights about 3 am…there are migration flyways for geese just at the end of the village…last year we had swans go through…and there are eastern bluebirds, larks and bobolinks in the hay fields down the street….oh, and lots of cats….people dump their unwanted cats and kittens here all the time…we have taken in and fostered 5 pregnant mums this past year…more than 30 cats and kittens…both on our own and through the local shelters. We have found homes for all of them so far.  There are two new mums upstairs in my studio and in Alicia’s room at the moment from the shelter…with 9 brand new babies. Now there is another rant i could get into…people not spaying and neutering their pets…but I will get into that another time.

I truly believe at this moment in our planet’s history and in the place we are right now as human beings…each of us has to do something to make the world a better place. It doesn’t have to be big. Teach your children about where their food comes from…show them vegetables growing…let them see a cow or pig if you can and that meat comes from living things too….show them how to recycle and why it is important…teach them to be kind to each other, their neighbours and friends, teach them compassion and respect for animals, for each other and for our planet. Show them the night sky and let them learn about our universe. Turn off a light. Turn down the thermostat. Join a group. Sign a petition.Teach your children tolerance, charity and compassion. Let them learn about other countries, religions, races and species. Anything that will impact our lives together on this small blue planet. Look at the stars…let them fill you with awe…let them inspire you to make a change, however small. From small things, big things come. From tiny acorns, mighty oaks grow.


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