Most dictionaries (I haven’t checked them all) state that “resolve,” among other things, indicates making a firm decision about something. It comes from a Latin word for paying a debt. So, to make a resolution, to resolve to do something is, by definition, something serious. Not, as seems to be the annual custom, to make a claim for a change and then drop it by the third week of January.
Make 2015 (Where are our rocketpacks, by the way?) the year you learn the names of three trees in your neighborhood. Perhaps even go the extra step by differentiating more than “that maple over there” to “See that black/red/sugar/Norway maple?”
Aim for two or three herbaceous plants. How about identifying those three birds you always see, but don’t know what they are called? Insects and arachnids–what are they exactly?
Whatever goals you might set, make them achievable–saying you’re going to know all the plants in your yard by December might be too lofty–or maybe not.
Visit some new areas in your community; observe what problems may exist. Is it in your power to effect a positive change? Our duties go far beyond entering a voting booth. Let this be the year.
Resolve to love your community, the ecosystem you inhabit and are already embedded in.
Let me end with an excerpt from farmer and writer Joel Salatin’s essay “Healing” found in The CAFO Reader, a book I recommend if your interests lie in ag issues.
For the first time in human history, people can move into a community, hook a water pipe into one coming in, the sewage pipe into one going out, buy food at the Wal-Mart from unknown sources, flick on a light switch for energy from who knows where, and build a house out of materials covered in bar codes from Home Depot. We don’t have to know the local ecology, economy, society, climate, agriculture, or anything. Just hook up. Such a noninvolved existence inherently breeds contempt for the community that sustains our existence: physical, spiritual, mental. Respecting our humanness requires that we respect–by appreciating our codependence on–that community of air, water, plants, animals, soil, and microbes.
What do you resolve to learn to love in 2015? Leave a comment.