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Lions Roar : March 2016
THIS MONTH SAMAIPATA becomes Bolivia’s first Transition Town. We join a network of 1,600 communities in forty countries re-localizing economy, reducing fossil fuel consumption through alternative energies, and fomenting organic agriculture. Trainers from Mexico and Spain facilitate two energetic days called Transition Launch. In a room packed with our indigenous- campesino mayor, town councilors, busi- nesspeople, students—and Clea, playing in the wings with her friends—we spend the first day envisioning our community deep- ening itself as an “ecological municipality.” The second day, surprisingly, is all about “inner transition.” We meditate and do interpersonal exercises, like Joanna Macy’s “work that reconnects.” The reason this pragmatic interna- tional movement, which was launched in England in 2006, now focuses on our inner lives is because some Transition Communities failed to flourish because of ego. People sometimes appropriated the process as their own. So, this poignant second day helps me realize that part of Transition, for me, is transitioning from the need to control reality and opening up the space for what is, whether a particular “what is” is bio- centric or not. It’s rousing that, in the months after the workshop, six action-initiatives, including community gardens, group purchasing, and green energy, take root. It’s exciting to feel freshly linked with the fellow villagers I bump into on the plaza or in the traditional market, sharing ideas for the recycling and organic agriculture policies we’re crafting together and see- ing come to life in a small place where our efforts matter in concrete ways. Also inspiring, as the moon wanes and waxes and wanes again, is a slight maturing in myself: an emergent acceptance. We—collectively—are here: individu- alism, the dismissal of indigenous values, overwork, consumerism, status competi- tion, fossil fuel dependence. Together we can transition to another here: community, valorizing Pachamama, time-wealth, spiritual values, a gift econ- omy, solar energy. It’s irresistibly nonlinear. And fun. Our basic nature is communal and enmeshed in David Abram’s “more-than-human matrix.” Transition, in part, means strip- ping away that which is not us. MEANWHILE, AT HOME, Clea is all about la luna! A blue morpho butterfly! The splash of wawa! But she’s also all about the vroom- vroom of the washing machine; the dis- tant sound of a moto in town; auntie on the Skype screen. This all feels less contradictory to me now. We’re not perfect; we’re in transition. Wildness flourishes beyond the analyti- cal mind, yes, but also beyond using the analytical mind to make an enemy out of itself. By ceasing to judge myself and our culture for destroying nature, I find myself more deeply enmeshed in nature. The moon transitions again to full. Naturally—and not out of any rigid “bio- centric” philosophy—Melissa and I pur- sue a joyfully vegetarian kitchen, do yoga, spend more time working in the orchard with Clea. A week passes since we’ve been in a vroom-vroom. We’re increasingly eat- ing out of our gardens and sharing sur- plus with friends. And here’s my little daughter, two years old, right now. It’s Thursday. She sits on the outdoor patio in the light of a nearly full moon, on our guapurú-tree mosaic, talking to a gray moth on the back of her hand as her puppy, named Adobe, and the kitty, Boots, wrestle beside her. It’s dinnertime. The food’s hot, and it’s time to eat. It’s dinnertime. Or is it? I WAIT. Choosing wordlessness allows the three mammals and one insect on the porch to be. Melissa and I eat silently, the moon shining through our circular skylight. That same moonlight falls on the soft hair of our toddler, who now—viewed through the arched glass doors—looks up from moth to moon. La luna. ♦ Child of Nature continued from page 53 LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2016 80