The Great Wheel positions us in this world and affirms our part in an ongoing and ever renewing cycle of life. This cycle allows us to see that our efforts are not futile or meaningless, but additive and communal. In both the additive and communal senses our life work can (should?) enrich our own lives and the lives of others. An important, even central, aspect of this work right now involves creation of a sustainable human footprint on planet Earth.
Several years ago I traveled to Cody, Wyoming after a visit with the grandkids in Denver. While there, I read the Great Work, by Passionist father, Thomas Berry. Perhaps it was a combination of his clear, deep prose with the Big Horn and Beartooth mountains. It might have been that the student was ready. Whatever it was, I drove home from Cody, Wyoming committed to furthering in some way what Berry saw as our generation’s great work: creating a sustainable path for human beings on this Earth.
Not long after that, it might have been that fall, Kate and I attended a three-day environmental conference at the University of Iowa sponsored by Physicians for Social Responsibility. They had gathered key thinkers in several different fields, all keenly attuned to the slow moving catastrophe that looms ahead of us, global climate change.
After that conference, I knew I wanted to use what political skill I had gathered over the years in furtherance of the great work. That conference made me see that it was my generation, our generation, that had to act. That was when I began a now seven year relationship with the Sierra Club serving first on the North Star Chapter’s political committee, then chairing the chapter’s legislative committee. Though I resigned a year or so ago, I’ve recently agreed to represent the chapter at the table of America Votes, an organization focused on a progressive future through influencing elections.
Mine is just one shoulder added to others and I hope Great Wheel can help you add your shoulder. The challenges ahead of us, which are severe and will last beyond our lifetimes (of any one reading this), offer an opportunity for solidarity across religious and political orientations. You can count on Great Wheel for up to date information about climate mitigation and climate adaptation in the state of Minnesota.
By Beltane, May 1st, 2014, the great wheel holiday that celebrates the start of the growing season, I’ll have Great Wheel shifted toward the task of helping Minnesotans, especially at the local level, make intelligent, informed decisions about aligning ourselves and our communities with the great work.
I look forward to a long and collaborative process with you all.