Sunday, December 20, 2009

Fire--Resource, Rebirth, and Responsibility

I tend to shy away from using this blog as a journal---however several "forces" (the snow storm forcing me indoors, an undeniable theme that emerged last weekend, and need for a little seasonal hope)--made reflection and record to hard to resist. The theme was that of FIRE--and what it comes to symbolize. Please bare with this rather long and circuitous posting.

I spent December 12th at the Phoenixville Firebird Festival enjoying the burning of the bird and a now traditional after gathering with farm friends and family. The after gathering included an impromptu Hanukkah celebration, the lighting of the second candle. I had spent that morning reading some interesting takes on Hanukkah in light of global climate change and the Copenhagen summit.

December 12 also marked a worldwide candle light vigil organized by to inspire leaders to take action at the Climate Change summit. I will not get on my soap box (for now), but as a farmer whose livelihood is dependant on the weather--I cannot stress enough the importance of climate change action. I encourage you to explore, it is an amazing resource with an amazing staff that includes the daughter of a CSA member. is an international campaign dedicated to building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis--the solutions that science and justice demand.

Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.

Our focus is on the number 350--as in parts per million, the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. But 350 is more than a number--it's a symbol of where we need to head as a planet.

To tackle climate change we need to move quickly, and we need to act in unison—and 2009 will be an absolutely crucial year. This December, world leaders will meet in Copenhagen, Denmark to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions. The problem is, the treaty currently on the table doesn't meet the severity of the climate crisis—it doesn't pass the 350 test.

Needless to say the Copenhagen summit turned out to be a disappointment and more than a little disheartening--yet another reason to inspire journaling. What can be taken away from the summit however, is the amazing resolve of grassroots organizations from around the world that rallied through vigils, protest, and negotiation. Watch a video of the "real deal" and flickr photos of the thousands of vigils around the world

On December 13th I had the good fortune of attending a benefit for my favorite Philly music venue/dive bar The Fire-- do you see the theme emerging, kind of crazy, right? The Fire has run on some hardtimes of late, and has had to close while it deals with these issues. This venue is near and dear to my heart because it serves host to the myriad of talented local musicians who seem always eager to lend their support to local farm events--playing at farmers markets, fundraisers, farm tours etc... In fact the line up at the benefit that night included folks you might recognize from the kennett farmers market, the kennett flash, concerts at anson b nixon park, and/or the Kimberton Hootenanny-- Cowmuddy, Chris Kasper, Adrien Reju, The Great Unknown, Sean Hoots (hoots and hellmouth), Birdie Busch, and Hezekiah Jones (most of these artists have fantastic new albums out this year--great last minute Christmas gifts). Like the climate change activists, these musicians serve as a great inspiration. They took responsibility for the Fire--doing what they could to remedy a challenging problem. They recognized the true value of the Fire, not just as a venue, but a place to find community, to make friends, to better their craft, and important outlet for their creativity.

So in this season full of festivals of light and fire, my hope is that light will also inspire responsibility--a responsibility to the things in life that we share, the greater good, the places, the climate, and resources we need to survive and floursh, what is necessary to truly be at home. I end with a video of Hezekiah Jones from the aforementioned Fire benefit. Enjoy!

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