Letter to Editor: From grief to action

We are all here because we love this place, even during this rainy, windy January afternoon.

A couple of weeks ago I held a meeting for people who wished to come together to share thoughts and feelings about the threat of climate change. A group of us gathered at Destination Health for 90 minutes to break into small groups and to share. We tried to identify where we were on the “Stages of Grief over Climate Change. These include denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. In addition, we were seeking for positive actions we could take as individuals and members of a community.

We found ourselves in all of the stages except denial, and many of us felt that we touch on the other four. It was a healthy discussion, and we concluded by practicing mindfulness meditation, a great technique to lower stress and gain clarity.

As facilitator, I wanted to offer something positive. I have been struck by Joanna Macy’s work, “The Work that Reconnects.” In these time of climate uncertainty and threat, Joanna advises us to “speak the truth within community; realize that our isolation from each other and the planet is a lie; be like Frodo in the Lord of the Rings, things look bleak but we carry on with positivity; fall in love with uncertainty; wake up as much as you can and help others awaken, and connect with nature and indigenous wisdom as much as possible.”

We all left the meeting feeling better. It was really good to be with others not be in denial about what is ahead and to share our thoughts and emotions. I encourage you to do the same.

Yesterday, before the rain I skied the perimeter of Eagle Lake. About a third of the way down (headed north) the east shore, I came upon a coyote feeding on a deer carcass. This made me feel really good because the web of life on the island is still operating the way it was designed!

Richard Parker

Bar Harbor

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