Humanity endures in a time of coronavirus as people grieve and celebrate.
And the world continues to turn, seasons change, and our Earth gets hotter.
In fact, according to NOAA, this September was the hottest September ever recorded, and 2020 may end up as the hottest year yet since we’ve been recording temperatures.
“The planet just recorded its hottest September since at least 1880, according to three of the authoritative temperature-tracking agencies in the world. The data, most of which was released Wednesday, shows that 2020 is on track to be one of the hottest years on record, with the possibility of tying or breaking the milestone for the hottest year, set in 2016.” ~ The Washington Post, October 14, 2020
Our universe is infinitely larger than our individual scope of understanding. Sometimes it’s inconceivable that individuals really do matter in the grand scheme of things, but of course they do. Collectively, we are the sum of human nature.
Last week my dear, dear sister-in-law from my first marriage Aida Gonzalez Iglesias passed away from COVID-19 in Miami at 71.
Aramis and I along with our children, significant others, and grandson virtually (and surreally) attended the Visitation on Thursday and Aida’s Funeral Mass and Committal Service on Friday from here in Sarasota, Orlando, and Melbourne, Australia. From personal experience, such an important part of grieving and acknowledgment comes from physically being there to support the family – hugging, crying, and reminiscing help to honor the beloved deceased.
Watching the emotions of others from afar almost felt wrong, as if we were intruding on their sorrow rather than sharing it. Although we were with the family in spirit, I’m so sorry we could not be there in person.
In juxtaposition, on Saturday we virtually attended the beautiful, intimate wedding of Carolyn and Justin S. via Zoom. Held in a verdant Atlanta backyard replete with a pet turkey, the bride was resplendent in grace and beauty, and the groom was understandably beaming. They only had eyes for each other. Poignant in its restraint, lovely nevertheless.
Not as surreal, perhaps because the occasion was hope-giving. Plus after the ceremony, all the wedding guests congratulated the happy couple live, and it certainly did feel as though everyone was participating in the moment.
The emotions couldn’t have been more disparate; sorrow and loss, joy and a new hope for the future.
How can we matter in a time of coronavirus? Of global warming?
We must be witnesses of our own lives.
“We must be part of the change; we simply cannot blindly leave our lives, the lives of our grandchildren, and the health of our planet in the hands of others. WE must be the New Hope for our planet and humanity.”
Linda S. Velazquez
In my opinion, the troubling upward trend in Covid-19 cases here in the U.S. reflects our current administration’s disregard for science and scientific study, and its seemingly cavalier attitude of how little individual lives matter. Over 217,000 Americans alone have perished due to coronavirus, and unfortunately many more will still die prematurely because the science wasn’t taken quickly and seriously enough.
We must strive always for understanding, education, compassion, strength of commitment and finally, action.
Take Sir David Attenborough for example.
A few days ago we watched the moving 1:23 documentary, David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet on Netflix. Who’s life? His.
“A Life on Our Planet” powerfully documents his over 60-year career as a naturalist. Beautifully filmed, but more importantly beautifully narrated as his heartfelt “witness statement” to the world.
A New Hope
The Emmy-winning broadcaster grieves the loss of wild places and proposes a vision for the future. “A Life on Our Planet” is not a doomsday proclamation as to the irreversible loss of biodiversity on Earth but rather offers we humans a new hope from which to make our existence truly matter.
“In his 93 years, Attenborough has visited every continent on the globe, exploring the wild places of the planet and documenting the living world in all its variety and wonder. But during his lifetime, Attenborough has also seen first-hand the monumental scale of humanity’s impact on nature.” ~ JOE
We may currently be the dominant species, but we, too, could go the way of the dinosaurs if we do not quickly and drastically alter the course of global warming. We humans are impermanent, and sparing a nuclear planetary holocaust, the Earth will survive once Homo sapiens are gone. Nature always reclaims itself.
“The film’s grand achievement is that it positions its subject as a mediator between humans and the natural world. Life cycles on, and if we make the right choices, ruin can become regrowth.” ~ The New York Times
So what can we do? Love and respect each other as equal beings, remain open to new ideas, create resiliency through design and vibrant practice, and vote to select leaders who will (re)create the world in which you want to thrive.
We must be part of the change; we simply cannot blindly leave our lives, the lives of our grandchildren, and the health of our planet in the hands of others.
WE must be the New Hope for our planet and humanity.
Love the Earth, Plant a Roof or Wall (among other things),
Linda S. Velazquez, ASLA, LEED AP, GRP
Greenroofs.com Publisher & Greenroofs & Walls of the World™ Virtual Summits Host