Sunday 12 October 2014

SA AoC Seaforth Beach 12 October 2014

It is lovely to stand really close to the sea and feel the water run over your toes.  My toes leave dents in the sand and leave behind a footprint.  I like hearing and seeing the seagulls.  I like the way the sand glitters because of the eroded minerals.  I like being able to close my eyes and hear the sounds of the drums and children.  It is interesting to see children playing in the water.  I like seeing all of the different shells on the beach, and thinking about all of the animals that lived in them.  (Danny).

Nature, the beach and all that is beautiful belongs to everybody, and it breaks down the divides between people and brings deep feelings to the surface.  Earlier this week, Jemima spoke about sharing your feelings with the sea, and with non-human life.  I thought about how natural spaces have been helpful for people as a form of trust, care and nurture.  So how do we work so that the more people who need this deep reflexive, peaceful and beautiful space get to share in it?

Compassionate and inclusive spaces give people a chance to be heard, and to listen to the gift of nature we were born with.  I thought about a poem by David Whyte (shared by Bill Plotkin), who says:

There is only one life
you can call your own
and a thousand others
you can call by any name you want....

...By the lake in the wood
in the shadows
you can
whisper that truth
to the quiet reflection
you see in the water.

This week, I heard one person share how she could share her feelings with the water, and another speak of how she's asked if  plants can heal diseases like Ebola, so that people don't have to suffer.  I realize how no voice should go unheard, or undiscovered.  How do we continue to create spaces for people to express their innermost thoughts in such a lovely way?

I love the process of asking questions and exploring our own reflections as a part of the process too.  It means I don't get to go in with answers, and it means that we are searchers who question and share together, in a beautiful and evolving space.  It also means that we explore together with the people who come to talk to us, sharing questions instead of answers.  And I think this helps bridge divides too.  (Nicci)

The world seemed at peace today.  It felt lovely to stand in the tide and waves that tickled over my feet.  I watched a small girl run from the approaching 3cm wavelets in mock horror and thought back to the potential 3m ocean rise and the possible future similarities.

I thought of how, slowly, the global conscience towards climate change seems to be turning.  I felt hope instead of hopeless, knowing that one day the tide will turn and slowly the scars and hurt will heal.  The opportunity to share this incredible earth with its magnificent landscapes and extraordinary creatures and life is such a privilege.  I am grateful for every minute.  (Scott)

Public questions/feedback:

Is the water really going to be that high?  I have lots of concerns about climate change, but I am not sure what to do.  I'm searching for what to do.

I'm from Brazil and we have heard a lot about climate change, and we are concerned, but we don't know what to do.

I understand about climate change and the sea level.  I work with issues in the forests of Zambia.  But the way things are dealt with make things illegal.  It's hard work, but creating awareness around this is really important.  I think this is a good project, and particularly working with children.  That somebody has taken the initiative to create a project like this is really positive.

Is that how high three metres is?  Wow,  creating awareness of this is a very important thing to do.

A little boy asked, Mommy, what are they doing?  They are looking at the sea.  They are talking about climate change.  What is climate change?  You know when Mommy told you about the changing seasons?  (It's diffiuclt to explain to a four year old).

What do you think about climate change (asked a member of the public).  "Gosh, I have to think about that one." "Do you think it will affect us?" "Yes, definately in terms of crops and agriculture."

It seems people know about climate change, but don't feel they need to/know how to do something about it.  It's not something close to home but a concept that is aimed at companies, etc.

A drum beats, there is a lonely lighthouse, children are playing.  There is a strong wind.

A man asked "What are you doing?" Asking people about climate change.  And what will happen if the sea level rises 3m?"
Well, I'm an engineer for wind turbines, and will bring good energy for your country.  Not like coal, or the nuclear deal SA just signed.

Same question.  "Oh, that's good. Making people aware.  Are you signalling or something?"


Thank you to the SA AoC group for continuing with this intervention and Nicci Attfield  for facilitating, and all who contributed to taking the photographs.

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