Friday, March 20, 2009

A Spring Equinox Missive

I want to take a moment to recognize the turning of the Wheel of the Year and, with the utmost sincerity, the return of spring.

Sharing my birthday every other year with the Winter Solstice brought a heightened awareness of the seasons at an early age. This year, our son Aya's arrival and the rather brutal winter intensified the importance of this morning's Sunrise for me.

I hope to encourage each of you, regardless of your station or belief, to add a bit of weight and meaning to the day as well. This time around, spring can be taken as a great deal more than the already vital return of local produce and bearable, even downright enjoyable, temperatures. Spring can bring rebirth on many planes. I suggest this spring be taken as a call to action.

If you're tuned into some of the same channels we are, and a starling number are, then you're witness to a very far-reaching shift in certain aspects of our culture. Though some of this is due to regime change, the changes that resonate for me are the changes arising within and from individuals and small groups. Almost everyone we share with admits that they can almost taste the potential.

I believe Detroit is experiencing the first rumblings of an exclusive local economic and cultural heyday. This spring, as Detroit becomes thick with more farms, community-based projects, DIY micro-industries, activists and artist, we have a great opportunity to build, inspire and assist in its recreation. Our city is changing quickly and, through our active participation, the Detroit of the not so distant future can and will reflect and respect each of our personal visions.

As the Wheel of the Year turns, I also want to note the importance of diligence as we navigate the coming changes in ourselves and in our communities. We all know that spring, summer and fall lighten our load emotionally and physically, but they can also lighten our energy usage and consumption. We can more comfortably walk, ride bikes and easily lighten our diets with local produce. With many of us tightening up financially this turn can give us self-determined economic relief.

While taking advantage of this relief, I recommend being mindful of the three seasons we have to prepare for next winter. This is certainly not a gloom and doom prophesy, but rather an aspect of the call to action that this spring heralds. Learn how to grow and store food, research and implement DIY home and health care, and make your living and work space more energy efficient. A few generations ago these practices were not only common sense but also considered boons to the development of character and self-respect. I've seen the act of taking up these practices assist to change attitudes and perspectives in so many, but most importantly in myself.

Finally, I urge you to take the coming of spring as a call to get out into your community, wherever that may be, and share your skills and expand your knowledge. Take this time to adapt to the quickly changing world around you and strive to anticipate future change through active participation. Working together inspires creative genius, or what Burroughs and Gysin would call the Third Mind, and I think we can use all the creative genius we can get at this point.

For me, as inspired by Angela and Aya, 2009 is a year of reconnection, to myself, to the communities and groups I share with, to the earth and all the realms I can muster. I am honored to be connected to so many incredible people and want to express my great gratitude for each of you no matter your level of engagement. Even the most minimal attention or awareness makes all the difference in the world. I look forward to working and playing with you all in the trenches. It’s going to be a great spring in Detroit!

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