It was 1985, I was thirty-five, a new volunteer with RESULTS, an advocacy organization committed to ending hunger and poverty. I jumped in feet first, determined to make a difference, though I knew nothing about poverty, Congress or how a bill was passed. Something I couldn’t name was driving me to be a change agent in the world.
Cape Town has a population of four million people. Six reservoirs, that fill from rain, provide all the water for the city and the surrounding suburbs. But it hasn’t rained since 2015. And the reservoirs are dangerously low. The city is projected to run out of water in 2019.
In the mornings, I meditate in my bedroom—actually I meditate in my bedroom closet. There is just enough room on the floor between my dresses, blouses, and hiking boots, to roll out my yoga mat, sit cross-legged on my meditation pillow and close my eyes. This morning there was a dog. A real dog outside my window, not a dog in my imagination.
I’m sorry if I’ve ever bent your ear about climate change. I’m sorry if I’ve consciously or unconsciously dismissed the important work that you are doing, thinking that you should turn your attention to climate change. I’m sorry if I’ve been arrogant, cavalier, pretentious or smug.
The Buddhists talk about beginner’s mind. Travelers take to the road and begin to see the most mundane things as a big adventure. New lovers move in slow motion and when they lift their heads it seems that everyone is smiling. Curiosity, wonder, and undoing make for fresh. Make for aliveness. Make for magic.