I love what singer/songwriter and life-long peace activist, Holly Near, says about the Underground Railroad. At some point in history, she offers, there must have been a moment when the commitment to ending slavery overcame the fear of reprisal, and a voice in the night said, “Now. Run. Go, now!”
Because of that moment, countless people found a path to freedom. Many others surely died along the way, or were sent back. Without sugar coating their struggle, I still get inspiration from those words, especially this one.
Today was a very hot day, even for June, in North Carolina. A clever device on my cell phone tells me the anticipated temperature range for the day was a high of 95 and a low of 70. As I sit on my back deck, at 8pm, it is still 85, but looking out over the pond tonight there is a lovely breeze and a sunset worth painting and writing love songs about. The ducks are quacking and the bullfrogs are “thrumping” and if there is a more peaceful, lovely place in the world I don’t need to go and find it.
Today is also Sunday, and maybe that gives it a competitive edge, for I am inclined, even as a self-employed workaholic, to get away from my desk and see what the out-of-doors looks like.
For dinner I have brought out here with me a ripe, local, white peach, a Smoked Round of goat cheese from the Goat Lady, a peeled and sliced garden cucumber, and some Virginia roasted, salted peanuts I bought as I passed through there last week on my way home from VT.
Which brings me to what matters here. Local foods, local farmers, local economies. Is there something else that will sustain us as a species other than food? If so, I can stop here and find another way to pass the time. But if our healthy survival, our vibrancy and our enjoyment of life is tied to clean air to breathe, clean drinking water, and access to wholesome (as in organic) foods grown using sustainable practices, [we will leave energy, clothing and shelter to another conversation for now] then I have an irresistible opportunity to look at my own community and see what can be done, right here, right now.
One answer is clear. We need to capitalize, to help fund, local sustainable farmers, farm to fork restaurants, and related sustainable food enterprises that have little chance of getting traditional loans from banks and other lending sources.
Enter the Abundance Slow Money Project. While this project can’t possibly be all things to all people, we can be a leg up to a few exemplary local food enterprises. And gradually, if and when they show a good payback history, we can find many more investors willing to finance their very own food shed.
The sun is down, and the tree frogs have joined in the cacophony of night pond noises. The only light now is from the computer screen and a rising half moon.
Will this idea of investing locally appeal to folks? Will I find any brave individuals, who, in spite of a depressed economy, will want to chance throwing their hearts, bodies and minds into starting or expanding local food enterprises?
We shall see. I can do no worse than to try…
“Now.” We need to make a run at taking better care of our planet.
Will we make it? Should we try? For me, the answer is yes.
But, look for yourself. Let me know. How about…