Winter can be a time of contemplation, when we are less inclined to spend time outdoors due to the short days and long, cold nights. Once the solstice season is over there are few opportunities to celebrate until the February High Day, at least in the northern hemisphere. Long nights seem made for good books, and for reflection on our lives.
As I write this, the air is filled with smoke from a forest fire burning on Mt. Adams. It’s been a dry summer and autumn here, something that has occurred over much of the world in the past few months. Bizarre weather seems to have become the norm. The climate of the world is rapidly changing.
Perhaps now would be a good time for each of us to take stock of our lives, to actually understand our impact as individuals and as a group on the Earth, our Mother. As Druids, we claim to follow a religion of nature and the natural world, but how many of us are actually doing that in practice? How many of us recycle, cut down on electricity use (or better yet, generate some of our own electricity), and conserve water? How many of us have any idea of what our carbon footprint may be?
How many of us even think about these things?
It’s true that a single person can have little impact on the environment, but a group can have a tremendous impact. Foolish politicians deny the changes that are happening, and people stick their heads in the sand. Life goes on as normal, as if climate change were just an illusion.
We, as Druids, can change our own behaviors. We can be politically active, we can recycle and reuse, we can educate ourselves about the coming changes.
And the long nights of winter are a great time to start.