Since my first or second post, you’ve been hearing about my fascination with BOLD Nebraska’s response to the Keystone XL pipeline. BOLD Nebraska is a grassroots collaboration of ranchers, farmers and Nebraska natives who believe there are other ways to fuel our future than mining the Canadian tar-sands for oil, and transporting it to refineries in Texas.
Last Fall, in response to proposed pipeline routes and legislation, BOLD Nebraska built This Barn. I have been looking forward to seeing it for myself and made sure my CRAN route would get us close to the right spot. Parvati’s thin tires aren’t too friendly with gravel roads, it so happens, so SAG Master (Mom!) played chauffeur for a quick detour. Time was of the essence and to be sure we didn’t drive in circles, we pulled alongside two farmers talking by their tractors.
“We’re looking for BOLD Nebraska’s Barn,” my Mom said.
“Oh, that thing?” one of them said.
This Barn. That thing.
And there it is: the teeter-totter on which so many climate conversations lie. I’ve had 450 miles to ponder this. In some moments, it’s “game over.” I don’t have the courage or energy to be curious. There are other moments too, however, when Grace descends and the capacity to hang out for a few more sentences appears.
In a few hours, I’m going to ride from the outskirts of Lincoln, into the City where I grew up. I will be met by members of the village that raised me. It marks the “Finish Line” for my CRAN. For the past two days, I have been pedaling slower, not wanting it to end. I am savoring these HUGE skies, brimming with cotton-candy clouds, these green, green fields and redwing blackbirds dancing ahead of me on the wide swath of road-meets-horizon. Out here, pedaling my prayerful pilgrimage, my purpose has been clear, guided, exquisitely simple. Ironically, the rubber meets the road, when I get off my bike and attempt to talk about why I did this and what I’ve learned.
I pray for the courage, the clarity, the command of language to share this story in a way that might invite others to share theirs. I pray that each of us has the patience and perseverance to bring curiosity to the conversations that might initially ring, “game over.” I pray that, together, we can begin to create a new chapter in our story on this planet…and that we might take delight in the creativity that has been given to us through birth.
May our capacity to innovate and care for one another and this great spinning home of ours be fueled by great sky, deep ocean, strong mountain, fresh breeze, cool grass, and the spirited animals everywhere. Amen! See you at the Finish, where it all Begins….
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