Preface: During our last evening of Institute for Non-formal Climate Change education in Sandstone, Mn we were led on a short-story writing session. Our facilitator gave us a prompt then 5-10 minutes to write, share within our circle, then another prompt. It reminded me of a conscious writing exercise in my college Creative Writing class. However, this writing session had a specific focus, My Climate Story. This is the result of my mine.
Where does my motivation come from?
As a child looking through National Geographic and feeling a sense of wonder; wonder where that is, how they live, if the photographer was injured taking the photos, if I will be able to see that place in it’s natural beauty and integrity…fast forward thirteen years. Bicycling from from Everett, Washington to Key West, Florida through thirteen states, over 5800 miles was my opportunity to open myself to challenge, adventure and an ultimate haptic experience. On my saddle over steep mountain passes, through the heat of high plains, the constant rotation of my legs, feet, pedals, cranks, the sounds of the proximate and distal environment.
How has or will climate change affect me most?
My view from the saddle spans 160° for miles. I see in the distance trees and clear-cuts, mountains and open mines. As I focus on the road between droplets of sweat from my brow, the road oasis and shining objects, which, with a few more turns of my cranks, shards of glass and cans appear. VROOOOM, HONK, a gust of wind pushes my back as an auto avoids me, and changing lanes. The invisible stink of their exhaust chokes me as I barely catch my breath. I feel confused and angered as I’m on my bike with a minimal footprint enjoying my time, the environment…what’s their hurry?…in their mobile coffin?