Posted by: Julia Bradshaw
I touched a horseshoe crab for the first time today.
While that may not seem like a momentous occasion, it represents how I do something new and different every day while on Climate Summer. Without this program, I may not have ever touched a horseshoe crab, or biked 90 miles in two days, or gone to a Quaker Friends’ Meeting. We have done all of these in the past few days and I am very lucky to have had the opportunity to become just a bit more aware of the world I live in. To give some context, we biked to the Watch Hill Yacht Club (where we had lounged on the beach the day before on our small, quick-dry pack towels) this morning to meet with Dave Prescott and his intern, Isabel, from Save the Bay. Dave acknowledged the importance of a discussion rather than a presentation, so we sat on the rock wall overlooking the Watch Hill Harbor while keenly listening to his explanation of the work that Save the Bay has done in the past 41 years of its essential existence. We casually walked barefoot on the hot sand while stopping at times to crouch down and chat. What a beautiful and peaceful area! The soft white sand sheltered by dunes and grass contrasted deeply with the typical beach landscape packed with colorful umbrellas and sunburned vacationers. If I had more time in Westerly, I would have most certainly heeded Dave’s advice and taken the 2 ½ mile walk around the point. While walking in the water, we found a huge horseshoe crab! I can’t believe that they have been around since before the dinosaurs. That truly puts my life and the lives of all humans into perspective. In such a short amount of time that we have existed on earth, we have managed to change it so drastically.
Peg Moran (who is very busy at the moment), our gracious host on Saturday night, invited Kit and Jane (our primary Westerly/Stonington/Mystic contacts) over for dinner on Saturday. Over a wonderful array of fresh salad, spaghetti, and sauce with squash, we talked extensively about our experiences with “the movement” along with the relationships that we have been finding and forming. We can sometimes underestimate the importance of casually chatting with someone, but each opportunity we are given to get to know someone just a bit better, we must seize it in order to intensify the connection with the individual. Humans thrive off such connections. Now, as to why we all went to a Quaker meeting: Although we were not staying in a church Saturday night, attending service had become a part of our routine, and it would have felt strangely odd if we had slept in past 10 AM on Sunday. Fortunately, we did not have to look far: Kit and Jane invited us to their Friends’ meeting and I have to admit, I was sure that I would be bored the entire hour of silence and I considered bringing a book to stem the lack of entertainment and excitement. However, after about 5 minutes of confused and distracted thoughts, I found myself thinking; really and deeply thinking. Although I love yoga, I never did it for the meditation, but I must say that perhaps I need to set some regular time aside to just think.
As humans, we observe, we learn, we adapt, and we achieve. Atypical experiences propel these actions and I am grateful to be presented this summer with a broad range of activities that are quite atypical to my norm.