Updated: Jul 21, 2019
This past week has been one filled with hope.
Just when my leg was the worst and it was cold, dark and pouring rain, we got to Searsport, Maine where we were fortunate to stay at the Historic Homeport Inn. We walked into an entrance filled with the aroma of freshly baked pecan spins with maple glaze and were quickly greeted by Anita, co-owner and a meticulous hostess.
We explained to Anita about our journey and our need for help with our back up vehicle. For those of us who live near major cities, it is difficult to realize that in less populated places there is no uber, lift or even good old fashioned cabs. However, this is not the case in Downeast Rural Maine. We were lucky our first week to find Joseph, the cousin of a waitress we had in Milbridge. He helped us multiple days with his driving but was unable the next day. Immediately, Anita came up with a way when she smoothed away our worries, saying she could help with our vehicle drive the next day.
Next, Anita whisked us to our room where we could rest our weary bones on a heavenly bed. After a great night of sleep, we sat down to a bountiful breakfast omelet and started a conversation with Marcia Clark, the co-owner of the Inn and omelet-maker, extraordinaire. When we spoke about our mission, Marcia lit up and told us a story about her family’s award winning maple syrup business and how climate change impacted the timing of when you would get the syrup. It moved from March to January and most recently instead of tapping once a year, they can tap twice-because of the change in climate. Instead of staying cold through April, it will get cold in October-then there will be warming in January which would lead to a first tap, then a Noreaster will show up and there will be cold weather again followed by a second warming and a second tap.
While you might think Marcia would say, this is a good thing, she has an arthritic knee and the change in climate and weather variability has made her knee so painful that for the first time last month she had to use crutches for a couple of weeks. She told us about the brown tailed moth which is now increasingly common in Maine and can cause a poison ivy type rash and respiratory problems. Finally, she shared a video of her dad, that just passed away this spring speaking about the impact of climate change on maple sugar production. I encourage you to view the video—it’s actually from 2009 but to me it shows me more reasons why we’ve got to take action now to move out of fossil fuels and into renewables to sustain the quality of all of our lives. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2kX6jXYsWAI
After the conversation about our mission, Anita came in and told us about her sister-in-law, who started a non-profit called Partners for World Health that recycles hospital supplies that US hospitals need to discard and sends them to places around the world that are in need. They also grew to organizing medical missions to southeast Asia and Africa for nurses, doctors and students. This is something that I have often thought about as we’ve had to discard out of date supplies at the Birmingham VA and other places I’ve worked, but I couldn’t take the time to do it. If you are in a position where you can recycle hospital supplies or if you want to look into participating in a mission, I urge you to check it out at https://www.partnersforworldhealth.org.
After finding this out, I started thinking that I was living through The Celestine Prophecy. Such luck and coincidences, meeting people that shared our values and caring about the earth and people, all pointing towards positivity. Because I had energy, it was a clear beautiful day with blue ocean in the distance, I decided it was time to film a video of moving Qi Gong. I had been wanting to do this for two years, since I taught Qi Gong to people at the VA but couldn’t do it then because of red tape associated with government employment.
Craig and I put on bug spray to ward off the multitudinous mosquitos and walked down the road towards the water. My mouth dropped when I saw the most beautiful site! An attractive windmill in close proximity to a house, actually, the closest I’ve ever seen. I have wondered about how windmills could be practically used and this was a picture right in front of me. There was a nice patch of green grass next to the house and a pleasant gentleman was working outdoors. I asked about him about the windmill. “It’s great but by itself, it wasn’t enough to provide all of our power. With the addition of solar panels, the power is all taken care of.”
Here I was, in Maine and after walking 100 miles, just happened to come across the first totally renewable energy powered house. Since moving Qi Gong is energy exercise and all about bringing in the positive and letting go the negative energy, I really felt that this was the place! The video went well, the mosquitos stayed away and Rick Schweikert, the owner of the home came over to tell us his personal story.
Rick is a cancer survivor and had actually published a story of his experience in Maine Seniors Magazine winter 2016 with first a triple bypass and then a pineoblastoma that he had which was a size of a tangerine when it was diagnosed because he couldn’t “see straight, stand straight, walk straight, think straight, feel straight.” In the article I was able to read later, he had talked about his experiences with reaching out to friends through facebook, Reiki and The Power of Intention by Wayne Dyer. I find it enthralling that I just randomly decided to record my Moving Qi Gong video on Mr. Schweikert’s property and he obviously had a great story to tell. You can read about his journey with you can find it at: https://issuu.com/mainegreenadvantage/docs/msm-42-web
With respect to climate, Rick reported that the sea level and the tides are definitely higher outside his home, the ticks and mosquitos are worse and the weather is more unpredictable. He validated what the other people in his neighborhood said. But, seeing the actions he had taken on his home, turned on the lightbulb of hope in my head!
This was lot of information for me to process. We set off for our week of walking and at some point, I posted the video which is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StcbDp-hbSM
The news this week has also emphasized the dire need to deal with climate. Fireworks were cancelled in Anchorage because it was too hot, there were record temperatures around Europe, a flood in Japan that forced 1 million people to evacuate, the city of New York declared a climate emergency and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated on the 30th of June to a group at the United Arab Emirates. “Climate disruption is happening now, and it is happening to all of us”, he warned. “It is progressing even faster than the world’s top scientists have predicted”.
Yet, there are still deniers in the US and some of you who I know and love that are reading this may also be a denier. For those of you who haven’t believed all of the scientists yet, I would strongly consider doing so. And for the intense deniers or if you have a personal financial connection to fossil fuels, I only hope that the collective positive energy that so many people are now sharing will make you realize we need to change and start tipping the pendulum towards a more inclusive, accessible world where we care for each other more than we care about what is happening in our own pocketbooks in relationship to changing to clean energy.
The good news is that Maine, amongst other places, is making green power more available, a solar wind farm is being planned off Atlantic City, New Jersey and there are ways to help stop the excessive release of carbon into our atmosphere. So, when you here about the tariff’s the current US president is placing on solar and if you are watching the deniers on Fox News, think about instead watching Ice on Fire by DiCaprio and ways that we can make positive changes to bring the earth and her inhabitants including people with disabilities, those in low lying areas, our children and grandchildren back to equilibrium. We can do this. I hope we do. #sustainability #climatechange #disability