I mentioned this in a recent entry, but the concept of home is a big deal in a lot of environmental thinking. Home means a place one knows and loves, a place where a person has a connection to the natural history, the culture, the people. Home, however, is an always changing place, and it doesn’t always change for the better. Case in point: Northern California, with its amazing natural settings, rich literary and cultural history, is changing rapidly as there is a major influx of residents, rapidly rising prices, and a loss of the rich culture. These are factors to consider when thinking about home.
So here we are in Charlottesville, considering it as a new home. I have written about the many great things here; today we walked by the Rivanna River and found leaping fish, red shouldered hawks, basking turtles, many plants, and fish leaping in the river. Yesterday, though, we tried to walk to a park and found ourselves in an area of expensive superhouses with no sidewalks, screaming traffic, all this and blasting heat. The appeals and big problems are many here. Problems are the way of the world, but the issues I am mentioning in both places are superfluous and not necessary.
How to find a home in a world of contradictions? Here we are in a place where people take refugees into their homes and rescue injured wild animals while others conduct suicide bombings (today in Istambul airport) or beat sea turtles with sticks for the sake of a selfie. Some would say cruelty is part of our genetic and evolutionary makeup, and there is something to this, but there is also evidence that cooperation and kindness are parts of our being. The problem is how to appeal to the latter and discourage the former.
This is a world of contradictions, some inevitable and others less so. We are traveling through it, but secularist that I am, I have no clue of where (if anywhere) we are going afterwards. So this glorious and painful place is our home.We have to figure out which contradictions we need to accept and which must be lived with. And where to we cfind a place to connect with?
So… onward. I will be busy for a few days, but will return to these thoughts. Be well.