It is day 97 of my 365 Days of Living Deliberately blog. I have been on hiatus from this blog for more than two weeks. I’m not sure why. Up until day 79, no matter how late it was or how tired I was, I determined to write something every day. My intent has been, and still is to focus on the wisdom of Henry David Thoreau, especially as it relates to his Walden and Civil Disobedience.
Thoreau’s writings about living simply and in harmony with nature and about taking a personal stand against injustice had a notable influence on me as a young person, and they mean even more to me now, as I read them again slowly, in pieces, at night before bed, savoring them as a more seasoned adult. Lately, though, in the past month, I guess, I have been too tired to read before sleeping and too busy in the day to read my Thoreau. I’ve been to and from Chapel Hill nearly a dozen times helping my daughter and her family move. I have been happy to be of use, but I’ve been exhausted from the work and the long drive.
In addition to helping my kids, my problem as of late is that I have been living so deliberately that I haven’t made time to write the blog, even it was just to copy and paste information and news about the coal ash spill. I am focused on getting a coal ash cleanup. I take the coal ash breach into the Roanoke River Basin, into the Dan River, into Kerr Lake very, very personally. Ken and I moved to Warren County largely because of Kerr Lake and the beauty of the surrounding rural area. Kerr Lake is beloved to me. Now, I realize that swimming in it without fear of pollutants is a privilege of the past, and I am devastated by this realization.
So, what do I do with this devastation? I fight as an educator and environmental activist and tenaciously press politically for a comprehensive coal ash breach cleanup. Why do I fight? Because I love Kerr Lake, I love clean water, and I want my children and grandchildren and others in the future to have them as well. I fight because I believe that individuals can make a difference, that I can make a difference. How do I fight? With knowledge that I gather and have gathered from research and collaboration; with writing and speaking on the subject that I share with the public; with experience that I have gained over thirty-five years of soldiering for environmental justice and pollution prevention.
I am organizing a coal ash cleanup meeting to be held in our area, at the Henderson library on April 24th. I will post more information on this meeting soon.