Question: How do you stay hopeful and positive knowing all you know about climate change, as our international community and individual governments shut their ears to the alarm bells scientists are ringing and seem to be working in the opposite directions?
Answer: Easy, first of all because we have no other choice, AND secondly, because of the wonderful, inspiring people we meet along the way; each of whom, is working 110% to ensure we succeed. Coordinated grassroots action around the world is bypassing formal government inaction and leads us to be hopeful that real success is achievable and just around the corner!
We’d like to introduce you to one of these special people we at CllimateMama have had the privilege to meet: Elli Sparks.
Elli’s present to us this holiday season is the guest post below, and in the spirit of the holidays we would like to share it with you! We ask that you in turn, share this post with the children in your life, even the older ones. Let’s be hopeful as we enter 2012 and let’s take Elli’s advice… “Let down your guard and recognize and embrace the fact that we are all connected and need to work together to put our Earth back on a healing path…” Thank you Elli, for giving us at ClimateMama, this special holiday gift…
Papa, tell me a Story….by Elli Sparks
Father: Yes, darling.
Child: Tell me a story, please.
Father: Sure, which one.
Child: The story about the time Earth very nearly lost her people
Father: Okay, I’ll tell you that one. That’s a good one.
A long time ago, the Earth was filled with people, from north to south and east to west. They had different religions or none at all. They looked alike or not at all. Mostly, they got along and lived with love. However, some of the people were afraid and that was the problem.
Child: Afraid of what, Papa?
Father: Afraid of other people and of not having enough. Afraid of change. Afraid to lose.The people who were afraid of others stuck their fingers in their ears and hummed to themselves so they couldn’t hear other people talking to them. The people who were afraid of not having enough took more than they needed. They took more trees than they needed. They took more fish than they needed. They took more land than they needed. They also took things from deep in the Earth, things that should have stayed in the Earth.
Child: What did they take from deep inside the Earth, Papa?
Father: They took many things but the big problem was the fossil fuels. Today we make our energy from sun, wind, and water. Back in the old days people took coal, oil, and gas from inside the Earth. They burned those things to make other things move, to build things, and to power things.
What happens when your burn something, darling?
Child: Things get hot.
Father: Right. Burning those things that came from deep inside the Earth made the world hotter. They didn’t notice it at first, the Earth is so big and the people weren’t burning much. But over time, they burned more and the Earth got hotter. The scientists noticed and shared their alarm with the leaders and the people. A hot Earth would mean trouble. Now, remember those people with their fingers in their ears? The people who hoarded because they were afraid. The people who took more than they needed.
Child: Yes, Papa.
Father: It was so hard for those people to listen to the scientists. Their arms were wrapped tightly around their stuff. They had jammed their fingers in their ears. They were humming loudly, too loudly sometimes even for other people to hear the scientists or listen to ideas about how to change. Unfortunately, people burned fossil fuels more furiously. The Earth changed. Trees caught fire and whole forests burned. Rivers dried up. Valleys and lowlands flooded. The sea water rose. Whole continents changed, many islands vanished, and fresh water turned salty. As the oceans warmed, fish died. As the air warmed, plants died. Without plants to eat, many animals and people died. It was a scary time, especially for those willing to look the problem straight in the face. Finally, the day came when those who hoarded and hummed with their fingers in their ears let down their guard and realized an ancient truth, one shared by all of the religions and those with none. Do you know what that truth is, darling?
Child: We are connected.
Father: That’s right. We are all connected. People, animals, Earth, trees, water, rain, oceans.
Father: Yes, sweetheart.
Child: The people who took more fish and trees they needed. What did they finally do?
Father: They worked with the others. Within 20 years they changed all of the energy from combustible to renewable. Twenty years is a long time. In twenty years, I hope to have grandchildren. In twenty years you may be a parent yourself. It was hard to stay focused for 20 years. Different leaders
Photo Credit: Franke James
came and went. But the people knew what they wanted and the leaders lead. Your great-grandmother was one of the people who spoke to the leaders. She knew what she wanted and she let them know. She was kind, respectful, and persuasive. She was loud when she needed to be and persistent. She had all of the qualities that Mama and I want you to have, that’s why we gave her name to you.
Child: I know Papa. I wish I could have met her.
Father: It will take a long time for the Earth to heal from the damage done by too much dirty energy. You and I will be long gone and many generations will pass before things really feel safe again. But, by making the switch from dirty to clean, we’ve given Earth a chance to keep her people. It’s time for bed, my little rock.
Child: Goodnight Papa.
Father: Goodnight (insert YOUR name here because the father in this story is your grandson and the child is your great-grandchild and all is safe again thanks to YOUR courage.)
Elli Sparks does a lot of things! She teaches cooking classes in her kitchen. Students learn how to properly prepare nutrient dense food in the old fashioned healing and sustaining way. She shows them how to make yogurt, stock, broth, butter, fermented foods and more. Elli also works for a fabulous non-profit that helps foster kids. She does their fundraising. With her husband, she home-schools their two children and has an urban farm with raised beds, hens, and ducks. Elli is also the founding leader of the Richmond Chapter of Citizens Climate Lobby. According to Elli – this organization has been her saving grace!
Thanks Elli, for all you do to make our world a better place..