A reluctant enthusiast


A few weeks ago, I checked out a copy of “Eaarth,”  (yes that’s the correct spelling) by Bill McKibben, from the Library.  I stopped reading it three chapters in. As McKibben points out, rightfully, statistics are pretty dire for this ol’ earth of ours. As his book descriptor reveals:

“…we need to acknowledge that we’ve waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We’ve created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.”

I agree. I get it. When it comes to climate change and global warming, it’s a dire situation. We need to be scared. We need to change. I get it.  I had just returned from a four-day camping trip and essentially felt horrible for any damage we might have inflicted on our little piece of land. I felt bad washing the dishes. I just felt bad about living on the damn earth.

And for a minute, I felt bad about enjoying any of it. The hikes. The sunsets. The water. The crickets. Any of it.

But today,  I stumbled across this quote, from environmentalist Edward Abbey. And I think anyone involved in any cause, any passion, any thing, person or place that consumes you,  read it.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am – a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”

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