Plant Anyway

So, it’s Blog Action Day, and we’re all supposed to post something related to the environment. Science Woman has a very hopeful post about how “having a daughter has brought the idea of intergenerational responsibility into much sharper focus” for her.
What shall I tell you? I spent a good part of this afternoon clearing out a neglected, overgrown flower bed in the backyard. It was a beautiful day to be out working in the yard, warm and sunny. We’re going to be in the low to mid-70s the rest of the week. That’s 15 to 20 degrees warmer than average for this time of year.

It was a very warm winter last year. My bulbs started coming up early. I had some that started shooting up in January. Then of course the daffodils got creamed with a cold spell in March.
The weather has been wacky ever since I moved back to Pennsylvania. I haven’t experienced anything that seems like a normal gardening year yet. I wonder if “normal gardening years” are a thing of the past.
When the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to Al Gore, I thought, “this is good, this will bring attention and authority to climate warming, maybe more people will be moved to take action, maybe things really can change.” But in my dark moments I do not have the optimism that Science Woman has. I don’t have children to worry over but I despair over what sort of future my nieces and nephews will have. Hell, I do not even think that I will live out my own life without seeing lots of change and turmoil.
How does Al Gore go on? I am in awe of his capacity to go on against such resistance, his refusal to give in to despair. For myself, I think that no matter how cynical and despairing I feel, I ought to behave as if I believe that a positive outcome is still possible. Try to believe what seems impossible. Add that to the belief that some real, significant, positive change in the status of women in science and engineering will occur in my lifetime. That’s still just two impossible things to ask myself to believe before breakfast each day! I shall practice, at least half an hour every day.
Maybe there won’t be any “normal gardening years” in the years to come, but I will plant anyway.
P.S. From We Can Live Green, a list of green links for gardening

  1. October 16, 2007 at 8:43 am

    I find it helpful to separate possibility from probability, and to remind myself to draw strength from possibility to adjust probability.
    In our culture we seem to like to turn probabilities into absolute judgments. We say, “This WILL happen”, and “That will NEVER happen”, though we know both have uncertain probabilities.
    There are a number of unpleasant potential outcomes whose probabilities seem daunting. I find I can do the most to reduce those probabilities if I concentrate my attention on increasing the probabilities of alternative outcomes. I find I can be most effective when I concentrate on better possibilities.
    That’s why I plant anyway.

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