Saturday, July 9, 2011

We are our environment

After work on a Friday night, I attended a book reading and discussion led by Dr. Ian Prattis, hosted at Planet Botanix on Bank Street. 

Ian read from "Earth My Body, Water My Blood", a collection of work he edited based on the initiatives by students in his last class on Ecology and Culture at Ottawa's Carleton University.

"The book is organized around the great elements – Earth, Water, Air and Fire. The fifth great element – Space – is to penetrate humanity’s consciousness about a better way to live with Mother Earth. This research into establishing eco-communities reflects the shift in mindset required to salvage the global ecosystem for human habitation. Our present values and patterns of consumption are the architects of the present global ecological emergency. We are our environment. "

Ian had praise for the students he taught and expressed joy at the creative ways they were carrying on with the work. Judging from the comments and questions raised by the intimate audience, it seemed that Ian was preaching to the converted.  Regardless, he reminded us that we could still be participants in change and become mentors to younger generations. 

In addition to purchasing a signed copy of the book, I acquired some walking tips from Ian who is also a teacher of Buddhist meditation.  I hope to learn more as time allows and apply it to the calming times of my busy, urban life.

On the second bus ride of my slow journey home, my apprehensions were echoed by fellow riders when the rainfall increased its intensity on the windows and rooftop.  I was indeed prepared with an umbrella that I pulled from my bag but sighed at the fact that I was wearing sandals.  The dark, windy walk home from the bus stop was not pleasant.  I was bombarded by the elements of water and air plus a bit of earth due to the sandy grit that embedded inconveniently into my soggy sandals. 

Ah, yes.  I was becoming one with my environment.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed, dear girl, meditation can do so much for one's very being. A medical doctor once told me in passing that suffering is optional.

    I've been caught in wind whipped rains before, also, and so can relate to your experience but it doesn't sound to me as though you were much worse for wear.

    You may have become one with your environment but at least you kept a good sense of humour about it all which is more than I can say about many others.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences there. This is the stuff real life is made of.