Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Gears and Hooves

I spent the last few days at Joshua Tree, my very favorite place on Earth, sleeping under the stars, watching jack rabbits hop and lizards scurry. After a month-long separation, I met up with my Man and met a batch of his friends. Like him, they are all blessed with - some might say stricken with - a level of awareness that accepts the end of life as we know it.

I'm not talking about the end of the world, just the cessation of this cushy modern life we've become so accustomed to. Running out of oil is just the beginning. Little by little, it will dawn on people that our infrastructure is as delicate as it sounds. It will be up to the individual to create their own source of food, energy and fuel. Katrina made that point very clear and I'm proud that my brother was well prepared for this while others remain blissfully unaware or perhaps, they prefer ignorance to action.

Even as I drove my Ford Ranger down the 5, I was aware of how road trips like this will soon be a luxury. My Man, of course, is already prepared; he does not own a car but rather, three bicycles. I, myself, would prefer travel by horse but understand this would require a bit more of my time and energy to maintain. My own mother rode bareback to school on her feisty horse, Betsy. How hard can it be?

Pondering the loss of air travel will be tough for me. I am so accustomed to being in an airport; it would be like never seeing a best friend again. In fact, mere hours after I got home from J-Tree, I boarded a plan for Austin, Texas, where I am now. I sleepwalked through the entire process and can barely remember how I got here. So much of it is by rote.

Still, change is good - it instigates growth by creating need, fostering new ideas and birthing innovation. This is what we've slowed on, thereby allowing complacency to rise and apathy to settle in. Fat and lazy does not bode well for survival in this stripped down world we will soon be inheriting. The generation behind us will surely be a brilliant bunch - the situation will demand it.

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