The Cycle of Life

Posted on behalf of Tuula Perry, Team Leader, Team East

I was offered a job on Wednesday (July 23rd) with the Garden to Table Program in San Jose. As a fruit picking coordinator, I will be a part of the growing movement in the Bay Area that is bringing local produce to market places. It feels incredible to be out of this transitional phase; being done with college and beginning a new chapter of my life. It feels as though the stars aligned for me to receive my dream job. In fact, the same night I got the job offer I saw a shooting comet in the sky, a sight I had never witnessed before. I am pretty sure it is a sign that I am heading home now, that I am heading in the right direction.

seeds of solidarity sign

One of the beautiful quotes written at Seeds of Solidarity

Maybe my good fortune has come because there seems to be something good in the air in these parts. The people I’ve met these past few weeks have seemed to be apart of a higher level of consciousness. They’ve expressed a deep relationship with the environment and feel called to help transform human behavior into more sustainable ways of living to restore and conserve our ecosystems. Several people I have met in passing have given me advice. They’ve told me to stay strong in my core, to remember that love is all I need, to stay grounded with the earth and to ask the trees, rivers, and our ancestors for help in this fight to stop the pipeline. I feel like the advice I have been given is worth taking seriously. It certainly can’t hurt. After all, climate change is making it increasingly apparent how interconnected our actions are. I think it is a beautiful when people believe in something greater than themselves.

Some people are very cynical about our ability to slow climate change. Indeed, I have felt a great sense of insecurity in my own life because of the economic crisis of 2008. The fear of fiscal collapse is still very real for the American middle class as the nation’s disparity gap continues to increase. We can’t let this fear stop us from building the better future we know is possible. The words of wisdom different community members have shared with me has given me faith that another way of living is possible. Remembering that we are all in this together will give us the energy we need to reprehend all the damage of humankind. Some of the simplest action such as conservation of water and electricity can make a big difference.

sign making

Recycled signs we painted. Small signs, big message

Additionally, it is important to do what we can because we have a responsibility to take care of the land we live on.  Some may wonder what it was like to not have a place I can call home but the truth is the Earth is my home. It’s everyone’s home.

sand pic

Trying to stop the pipeline on our day off!

I think I will accept their job offer. Not because of it’s pay or benefits. I will accept their offer because I want to continue living my values as I have this summer. Even though I am choosing to work hard for little income, I have faith that a more sustainable food system is possible just like I have faith that all the grassroots opposition that has been built in Massachusetts will stop construction of the proposed Kinder Morgan natural gas pipeline.

About njansen16

My name is Nicholas Jansen and I'm entering my fourth and last year at the University of Michigan. My major is Program in the Environment (PitE) with a specialization in water.
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