I'm focusing on natural beauty and our precious world today as I join Wen's Simply Neutrals Party # 54. It makes me feel better in the face of all that's happening in my life at the moment. I haven't had a chance to do any arty stuff at all, but I can share some of the beauty I've observed, and an inspiring experience.
These are some hydrangeas from my garden this Summer just past... I love the gentle pastel shades with their tonal variations.
Below, a single leaf with rain drops I noticed on the ground - we haven't had rain in so long, and it's raining now. So comforting after a long hot Summer breaking heat records again.
After spending two weeks loading software and moving data across, my new computer worked like a dream. Then it died mysteriously after a week. My teenage son built it from hand selected parts, and we are having trouble working out which part has died. It's so frustrating in a house of computer junkies, now I am using a horrible old, slow laptop with a worn out space bar and vowels 'a' and 'e', and I am missing my passwords, my favourite software and photos...
Our household has also been suffering blackouts day and night due to a faulty earth leakage detector, then our air conditioner leaked water all over my favourite vintage books from 1890 ( I almost cried!), our hot water system died (cold showers!), and my car battery left me stranded. It was getting ridiculous, and we were feeling so frustrated.
On Friday it was the day of the world school student strike for climate change. Both our younger teens were sick. We wanted to go to support our local kids but my partner had an urgent medical appointment in Canberra, so we decided I would represent us all and join the march in Canberra. As my partner nobly put it, "My health problem really only affects one person and our family, but climate change affects us all."
So I marched with the school students in Canberra for two hours (my arms are still sore from holding up my sign!). What an uplifting experience it was to be alone in a sea of people all keen for action and democracy. It gave me a fresh perspective...
It made me see most of our problems as "First world" problems - our luxuries letting us down. How lucky we are!
Listening to the students' speeches, reading the signs they carried, and seeing so many standing in support of a clean energy revolution via the media later was heartening. The school students were joined by university students and thousands of adults young and old. Many stopped me and asked to take a photo of my banner, and people congratulated me on my signs. One of the photos taken of me held a surprise - graffiti angel wings in perfect place!
Some people didn't like that sign as much as the other side:
I think the words "intergenerational theft" are powerful, dark and guilt-inducing. Maybe it was too negative. But I spent all the previous evening trying to hone what I wanted to say so I could add my own voice of support to the students' march.
I liked this sign in particular:
The media in Australia has been largely very supportive, with many making the point that most of the world's most educated and eminent scientists are in agreement that leaders must take urgent action to try to slow the effects of using fossil fuels or face more floods, bushfires, famines, sea-level rise and hotter temperatures.
Some of the students' signs were funny, some were sad to see, showing their fears. Many young children took the opportunity to express their concerns at the microphones.
It was rewarding to be out of my comfort zone, talking to strangers and making warm connections with them, being part of the action. The School Strike for Climate Change happened in 1769 places in 112 countries around the world. 16 year old Greta Thunberg who inspired the first school strike for climate change last year has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
I know these pictures don't all fit the theme of 'Simply Neutrals' (perhaps 'carbon neutral' is stretching it?), but I'm joining Wen on her blog, AppleApricot, as I know she feels a close connection to nature too.
Wishing you time to tread in peace among trees soon.