Sometimes, when I think about the planet, I swear my heart will burst. It is breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly powerful. It is so intricate, complex, and miraculous that my language falters and then fails. My attempts to capture a description of Earth’s exquisite balance trail off into silence. In turn, my mind stumbles over the magnificent interconnections of life on this planet. The magnitude seems beyond my comprehension. But I can feel it.
In the spiritual folds of my heart, the intuitive parts of my guts, and pulsing through my blood, I feel it.
Sometimes it’s a bone-deep, lung-deep ache for a breath of fresh air from the forest, the mountains, the sea. Sometimes a soaring of my soul, full of awe and deep reverence. Sometimes though, it feels like my heart is cracking open. Equal parts love and grief.
Collectively, we don’t seem to recognize what is happening or what we are doing to this one, precious planet. Our human-made systems, woven with values of greed, rest on a foundation of dominance. And inertia keeps us from acting or imagining doing things differently on a planetary scale. There are many paths out of this but I fear we will be too reluctant to follow them until everything around us is crumbling, scorched, parched, or being swept away.
None of us wants that.
Most of us want futures that are clean, healthy, peaceful, and abundant. To get there we need to bravely declare our love for the planet, to treat the Earth as if we are in a beautiful relationship full of possibilities. From this place, we can find creative ways forward that inspire and motivate us toward the future we want.
I have been blessed this year to work on a project called the Creativity Lab for Climate Resilience. Through this, I met incredible people interested in climate resilience who generated beautiful project ideas for how we can take action and (re)build for a resilient future. My amazing research assistant, Kyla Mitchell-Marquis, and I spoke with some of the participants and compiled these conversations into Season 2 of the Creative Praxis Podcast.
In their own way, each guest we speak to offers a unique love letter to the planet, sharing their thoughts on how we can individually and collectively take better care of this amazing Earth.
We hear from University of Calgary Master’s student Holly Williams about the importance of grassroots solutions and social enterprise, and consider the role of nature in healing environments from Larry Harder and the work he does with the Fraser Health Authority. Laura Brody from the Fraser Valley Conservancy describes the creative mindset required to reimagine our connections to nature. Psychology student Graeme Beamiss offers ideas for reframing eco-anxiety to build resiliency and innovation, and Olivia Jackson from the University of the Fraser Valley’s Office of Sustainability shares the powerful opportunity within higher education to influence all sectors in their understanding and appreciation of sustainability. A retired oil worker, Gerry Pinel explains his work on transition communities, while Christina Toth from Fraser Basin Council discusses the power of sharing stories.
Season 2 focuses on the bridges between creativity and sustainability and we offer it in its entirety to help spark conversation, plant seeds of ideas, and as a deep dive into the need for creative sustainability.
I hope you are inspired to take action and unleash your creativity in service of protecting this incredible planet we call home.