Today, January 11th, is my birthday! As part of my birthday celebrations, I want to share some of my thoughts this morning with you – my climate action family – who give me hope and keep me going every day.
I went for a walk early this morning and was greeted with a birthday present from Mother Nature. A red tailed hawk circled low over my head – three times – seemingly looking down at me and making sure I noticed her, before she soared off into the distance. The sky was blue, with wisps of white clouds, the sun was warm on my back, and the temperature was hovering around 60F. While the sky is often blue, and red tailed hawks’ winter here in the northeast, the last note is an anomaly. 60F is the average temperature we normally see in April; today’s average high temperature should be closer to 38 F. Nothing normal about that – but hey it’s my birthday so nothing normal anyway!
Today I plan to celebrate. Today I promise my loved ones to be in the moment, letting friends and family celebrate me as well. Mother Nature was the first to remind me on my birthday to take time to look around and to be alive and active in the world she has created for us. I am also reminded to slow down and cherish being in the moment with those we love and who love us, even as our climate emergency seems to be spinning out of control. I know that on most days you – like me – are wrapped up in fighting for our future and now. You are raising attention to our climate crisis daily, and helping others tell the truth at the same time as you are working with them to finds paths forward that amplify the messages and the actions needed to slow down the unfolding crisis before us.
On recent birthdays of some dear friends I have seen them ask their friends to make a donation on their behalf. Sometimes it’s to an organization fighting the good fight on our climate emergency or another organization they are passionate about that is helping others in need in a myriad of ways. These are wonderful birthday presents to give and to receive. On my birthday, if you are so moved, I would love for you to take an action on our climate emergency that is personal to you and then share what you did, with me.
Write a letter to one of your local elected representatives, ask them what their climate plan for your area is. Have a family meeting about the climate emergency and begin to outline a plan for how your family will address the climate crisis this coming year. When a stranger (or a friend) comments on the “beautiful weather” today, acknowledge the warmth of the day, the hawk circling overheard, or the wonderful walk you were able to take. But also mention to them how this is not “normal” and how it is yet another sign that our climate emergency is upon us.
As many of us gaze in horror getting a glimpse through international media of the floods in Indonesia and the Central African Republic and the fires burning across Australia, the stark and clear reminder that we are living our climate emergency now is before us. In addition to being witnesses to our climate emergency, take time to research frontline organizations fighting climate disasters around the world and finding ways to give to them directly. Share what you have found so we can all reach out and support them too.
For those of you who have taken the time to read all the way to the end of my early morning birthday thoughts, thank you. I look forward to your comments, thoughts, ideas on climate action you are taking (share them with me here on our blog or on any of our social media channels: Facebook, Instagram or Twitter).
As a present to you, I want to share some exciting news for 2020 that I will be sharing in a more formal announcement in the near future. This my first book, How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change, Turning from Angst to Action, will be published by New Society Publishers. You can be one of the first to order it today! All profits that I receive from the book will go to support parent project on our climate crisis. More to follow..
Your Climate Mama (Harriet)
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt (Unsplash) birthday candles
Photo Credit: Rhododendrites (WikiMedia) Red Tailed Hawk