We are the bridge builders. We are clustered here on this fragile planet at this time of transition with the assignment to build the bridge to a new kind of world. We are doing our best to live with compassion and equanimity in the midst of big unsettling changes … and signs that even bigger changes are coming. The big systems that have held things together for the past century – the world economy, education, government – are wobbling and unstable. Everyone I know is experiencing strange weather; southern California summers are now humid, Wisconsin regularly experiences destructive “straight line winds” and Toronto just witnessed a record downpour that flooded major freeways. Colored maps on Facebook show the Earth temperatures rising from blue to green to yellow to red.
On any given Tuesday, this might just be a physical discomfort or an inconvenience for me, and I can’t help but be aware of the bigger picture. At a recent indigenous ceremony, I heard visions of even more dramatic Earth changes on the near horizon: rivers changing direction, salty seas invading the Great Lakes, violent volcanic activity and massive earthquakes which reshape continents.
Staring into the face of these kinds of big changes often has the effect of paralyzing me. Partly, I become frozen with fear. I really don’t want the rhythm of my life to change. I don’t want hard things to happen to me or the people I love. I fear the loss of so much that is familiar and the loss of control. And my paralysis grows more intense because I can’t imagine any action I could possibly take that would bring healing and stability to this world quickly enough – big enough- to make a difference.