Not yet December at this writing and the snow is flying. Just another reminder that the Climate Crisis is upon us now. We’ve gone from inconvenience: too cold, too hot, particulate matter, atmospheric river, and heat dome to extinction rampant, zoonotic diseases causing suffering and death, medical care breakdown, financial difficulties for some and ruin for others to our friends in Lytton and in the Fraser Valley escaping with their lives, saving what they could, and knowing what it means to lose just about everything. The city was more or less in isolation as water poured in and cut us off from the mainland. Very scary stuff. Enough to make one a little crazy. Should we get therapy? Is there any good news?
On the grand scale of things, we are very, very fortunate and filled with gratitude to live in Canada and in British Columbia. We are not in war. Perhaps that is some sort of consolation, if not “good news”.
But on the local front, the good news is that we’re getting ever closer to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival.Who doesn’t love the beautiful cherry trees in Vancouver every spring? These trees were planted with great care quite a while ago now by the city of Vancouver inspired by the Japanese community. How very blessed we are to have such a diverse city that we can share in each other’s festivals, community, and good will. By participating in the Cherry Blossom Festival, we are expressing our belief in an uplifted life, a life of community and goodwill.
Sometimes one forgets why one is working so hard to contribute to solutions and sanity in the midst of the Climate Crisis that some do not seem to see. Others see the Crisis but a re at a place of ignoring consciously or simply are unclear what to do. We have to remember that we are working every day for the future. For our children, grandchildren and for the children and grandchildren of everyone and of every species and plant. Just as we are no longer aware generally of the names of those who got the city to buy and plant cherry trees all over the city, future generations may not know any of our names.
Certainly we don’t know the names of those to come, still, we do know that for their sanity and mental health, they need us to fight for them to have a healthy planet. They need clean air and water. They need as many plants and animals as can be saved. They need the flowering trees and their sweet fruit. But even more, they need beauty and love, poetry and hand-made things filled with expression and devotion. They need music and all the teachings, all the stories and all the pictures.
Cherry blossoms bring promise of a natural civilization, of warmth in every life, of children’s laughter, peace, and the bright eyes of a perky squirrel who made it through the winter. Pretty soon we might get a glimpse of a hummingbird zipping in for a closer look while we drink tea al fresco – under the cherry tree.