And so, in the end, it still comes back to thinking globally, and acting locally. And locally, there’s an opportunity coming up for those of us who think along these lines and live in the Nashville neck of what’s left of the local woods to get together and consider our options. The winter gathering of the Cumberland-Green River Bioregional Council is coming up next weekend, the 18th through the 20th of January. This year’s theme is “Climate Calamity: Cool It Or Lose It.” You can read the details on the group’s “Meetup” site. Just in case you’re not familiar with the term “bioregional,” here’s my shot at a definition:
Bioregionalism” is a word that came into use in the late 1970’s as a signifier of “the new paradigm,” i.e., a holistic way of understanding the human situation and life on Earth in general. The bioregional view is to see the world as a network of interlocking, interacting biological regions, each defined by a loose combination of common plant communities and watershed boundaries.
Thus, the “Cumberland-Green River” bioregion encompasses the drainage basins of the Cumberland and Green Rivers, as well as the Highland Rim areas south and west of the Nashville basin, areas drained by the Duck, Buffalo, and Elk Rivers, among others, which flow into the Tennessee River from the north or east as it flows west through northern Alabama and then turns north through central Tennessee.
The gathering will kick off on Friday night with a mixer, a great opportunity to talk, reconnect with old friends, and make new ones–well, that’s the idea for the whole weekend, really. Saturday morning we will circle up and give short summaries of what we’ve been up to in the past year. After that will be a potluck lunch and fundraising auction, followed by an afternoon of workshops on everything from climate change to new modes of activism to poetry and gardening. Saturday evening, we dance. We’re Goldmanites, dammit–she’s the one who said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” Dancing, yes!
Sunday morning will start with silent meditation and go on to a short business meeting, a potluck lunch, and an informal afternoon of slow goodbyes and enjoying the ambiance of Eric and Beth Lewis’ lovely homestead on the Harpeth. To return to Paul Kingsworth’s set of attainable goals, we’re a group of people who see nature as having a value other than utility, who are committed to preserving it (and have, in many cases, already created the “refuges” he calls for), we love to get our hands dirty, and we’re all working on the ongoing dynamics of being “withdrawn” enough to be grounded, without completely burying ourselves. In fact, the one thing I think Kingsworthy left off his list was “seek the company of like-minded individuals,” because us monkeys are, when you come right down to it, critters that survive better in groups than we do alone. Hope to see y’all at the “old landmarks” next weekend!
music: Rumors of the Big Wave, “The Only Green World“