Suddenly a shadow, and Lady Elizabeth Simcoe, standing on the shore of Lake Ontario in Toronto in 1793, looks up. She later wrote in her diary that the bright afternoon sky was blackened by huge flocks of passenger pigeons flying in great unison. Today, passenger pigeons are extinct. Sad, but true.

The colonizing mindset of Lord and Lady Simcoe destroyed our natural places and fuels our extinction crisis. If the Simcoes and their ilk had a true curiosity about the sustainable hunting and gathering lifestyles of the First Nation Wyandot peoples they met, instead of participating in their genocide, the earthly soil that feeds us would be thriving, not hurt and depleted.

The Extinction Rebellion slogan “Business as usual = Death” is true. Today was business as usual. Tomorrow will be business as usual. This fact means death for all we treasure, for children, for kangaroos and koala bears. To feel that truth each day is to be in a cruel despair, then a rhythm of rage, grief, and determined peaceful intention.

The artist Banksy painted a mural outside in London, England in support of Extinction Rebellion.

In the 60s, the hippies said, “you’re either on the bus or off the bus.” The carbon neutral bus will leave without you. We are changing from rampant Black Friday consumers to gardeners, nurturing and tending the commons. How does your garden grow?

Is it up to me and you to act to solve the climate crisis, or the government to pass laws forcing the public and companies to change? Ideally, both are in lockstep, but because our government’s lifeblood is business as usual, it is failing at its number one responsibility, to take care of us. Here in Ontario and worldwide, governments are losing all legitimacy, and increasing numbers of people support Extinction Rebellion’s demand for a citizens’ assembly to keep our planet liveable.

Extinction is final. Passenger pigeons are never coming back. But we can reclaim what was wild and beautiful in them, in us. I felt a deep resonance when I found a community holding the truth that the Second Coming is not the physical body of Jesus coming back. The Second Coming is being revealed slowly now, a profound and creative compassion we can allow
to flourish as it expresses itself through us. In Haliburton, I can stargaze. It’s free pure bliss, a rebellion against our selfish economy. I can reflect that inspired feeling of wonder and awe in my vocation and daily activities.

You can’t fool Mother Nature. We need to be carbon neutral in Haliburton, including composting our commercial/institutional organics, green tourism, and no natural gas pipeline. Norm in Gelert smokes the rainbow trout I grow in my backyard pond, so delicious it seems to melt in my mouth. All of us thriving together within this paradise is so close, I can taste it. In truth we can rebel against the rat race world, for life. Please join us: oliver@web.net. (Submitted by Oliver Zielke)

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