On Accountability and Enough

The Wheel turns whether I notice it or not. Half a year gone. Four holidays have passed.

My Beltane alter was colourful, full of hope and joy. It was bright and happy, just as the holiday was meant to be celebrated. My heart was full, and I felt blessed. I spent time posting ideas for future alters to Pintrest, excited about what I could create in the months ahead.

Then the waters came., and my Summer Solstice alter was left behind in the rush of evacuation. I spent the holiday itself glued to technology, trying to glean the truth amongst the grains of rumour and speculation. I greeted the sun, praying its arrival would herald the end of the rains. And then I travelled, and was fortunate enough to find a space where I could honour the water without dread.

My Lammas alter was subdued. While the waters had spared my home, that which I had to harvest was meager compared to earlier years. I struggled (and continue to struggle) with issues of sustainability, with alternative income streams, with sharing and gifting versus owning and consuming.

We’re now at Fall Equinox, and my alter contains small crochet leaves, a reflection* of my ongoing sustainablity concerns. I light the candle, breathe deeply, and open myself to the unknown. I ask for blessings for myself and for others who are struggling. I let myself feel despair even as I open myself to hope.2013-09-27 08.22.47

The Wheel turns whether I notice it or not. It turns if I have intentation or not. It turns if my practice grows from that intention or not. It turns even as the questions tumble from my mind.

I question to whom I am accountable: If I create an alter and stand before it, honouring the turning of the wheel, is that enough? If I write about my experience here, is that enough? If I organize circles of others, if I give my time and energy to support local pagan groups, if my words are published, is that enough? If I teach my son to honour the old ways, if I sing songs, if I bake and craft and share my blessings with others, is that enough?

I question what I am expecting in return: If I am blessed with a roof over my head and food on my table, is that enough? If I am able to buy my son a warm coat without sacrificing our food budget for the month, is that enough? If I am able to recognize that I am no longer carless by choice,** but by circumstance, and it has not changed my ability to move around the city, is that enough? If I remember that abundance is here and the Path is right, is that enough?

I question, and the Wheel turns, and I light a candle. Blessed Be.

* I crochet when I’m panicked about financial things, to in some way convince myself that if all is a wash I’ll at least have a stack of hats to sell.

** I actually question if I was ever really carless by choice, but that’s the subject for another blog post.

In the News…

(Twice in one week. I think that’s a new record!)
First, I’m quoted in the Calgary Dollars Newspaper (Winter 2010 issue, which is available in the FFWD on stands now) in the article “Connecting Bow Cliff”. For those who haven’t heard, the Calgary Dollars Markets are moving to Bow Cliff Seniors – join us on December 13, 6pm-8pm, when 32 local artists/sellers have tables and we’re celebrating the Hundred Dollar Holiday.
Second, I had a BCS member come into the centre yesterday to ask for an autograph. Yes, the Calgary Herald ran a great piece by Greg Williams (and an equally great photo by Dean Bicknell) on Calgary Carshare.
“When I was growing up, for me, a car represented freedom,” Braun says. “But now that I’m in the city, for me, having a car was a burden.”

We’ve already had new applications for membership (which you can do at the Calgary Carshare website) and that makes me happiest of all!

31 Days to a Brand New Blog: Day 5

Day 5’s challenge? Comment on Three Blogs You’ve Never Commented on Before:

Manhattan’s Non-Market Economy
It will be difficult to wean people off “free” parking, but it can be done with a carrot and not a stick. My city (Calgary, Alberta) tried to address the free parking situation at our local park and ride lots (located at train stations and major bus stops) by bringing in a $3 fee, and it caused a minor revolt amongst drivers. The difficulty was that they had not put any real alternatives to driving in place (such as frequent feeder bus routes to the park and rides or making transit more cycle-friendly) so most people felt they had little choice in the matter. If the investment had been made in good infrastructure, there might have been a different reaction to the fee. Instead, we have people who now drive downtown instead of paying the fee, even though it is more expensive, just to make a point. Very frustrating for those of us advocating for a better way!

Did Consumers Cause the BP Oil Spill? 
It’s not “just” about consumer choice, but that certainly is a factor in how we’re going to re-develop our future together. Point #3 and the development of car culture is accurate, but if know it was created then we know it can also be taken apart. Reducing the need for a personal automobile can be done in many ways: moving to a more walkable neighbourhood, taking transit or cycling, joining a carshare co-operative, etc. Yes, these are individual actions, but they also impact companies (less cars sold, less need for oil) and governments (more need for transit, more demand for high-density neighbourhoods) will act and how we will live in the future. That in turn will help create our next positive action and so on until we have something much better than the tarsands dependency we’re building on.

Monday Morning Rock Out
Happy Birthday Hildy! Great points about time and accountability. In the end, we all have the same amount of time (no one’s getting more than 24 hours in a day no matter how hard we beg!) and we’re ultimately accountable to ourselves for how we spend it. Now get out there and celebrate!