I am in day two of a fossil fuel fast; that is, I am going nowhere by motor vehicle and using as little electricity as possible.
Sometimes I do this on purpose but not this time. The battery on my car is dead and I’ve decided to wait for Vic to come back from Chicago to deal with it. So I am trying to put a positive spin on the situation.
It is appropriate, and maybe a little ironic, that the battery turned up dead two days after we participated in an afternoon of prayer of lament and hope at a site along the Enbridge oil pipeline, which is scheduled to expand this summer so more awful Alberta tarsands oil can gush to fill hungry oil appetites here and around the world. The new line will replace or more likely supplement the old pipeline, which made a big mess of the Kalamazoo River in 2010.
This event was at a retreat center 40 miles away but the pipeline also passes within a mile of our house and through the property of our beloved Community Supported Agriculture farm. Because of the pipeline construction, Bertrand Farm will have to curtail most of its production and all educational activities this summer. Our farmer, Theresa Niemeier, rode to the event with us. Brownie points to us for carpooling in a battered, fuel-efficient Focus.
This was not just a protest against Big Oil. The pipeline expansion is a done deal and besides, in Pogo’s immortal words, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” In the moving rituals of the day at the Hermitage we confessed our own dependence on the oil economy, mourned with the trees that will be felled, and danced our hope and determination to do better.
Maybe the aging Honda got the message and decided to help out by doing a sit-in in our garage. You want to drive less, why not start right now? (And by the way, April Fool except this is real.)
And so I am walking the road in the chilly winds rather than going to the Y for exercise, eating up the wilting veggies in the fridge, keeping the thermostat low and the fire high, and hanging laundry out to dry.
Forced to stay home, I’ve also been out in the woods every day checking for blooming hepatica, our first spring wildflowers. Despite the cold they’ve begun to raise their fuzzy stems and fragrant blossoms to the sun.