Familiar sayings comfort me in times of great distress. Indeed, the Trump Administration’s attacks on our environmental protections and on science-based policymaking—and his complete disregard for truth—infuriate me every day. “This too shall pass,” is an adage that reminds me I have lived through several national crises, and I will live to see better days return.
For now, I have the great benefit of joining my NRCM colleagues each day to strategize courses of action to stand up for Maine’s environment in every way we can. It helps to know we are part of a
phenomenal resistance movement that is growing daily.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” is another saying that inspires me these days. This one is from A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens, describing the eve of the French
Revolution. It seems we are facing the worst of times, but we are also witnessing the best in people. Across the country, there is active protest: marches, phone calls, petitions, kitchen parties with friends writing postcards to policy makers, Facebook posts sharing articles from undaunted journalists shedding light on what is really going on, and much more. The long “winter of despair” is turning into a spring of hope, as we rally for science, for the truth about climate change, and demand action from our elected officials.
Meanwhile, nature calls us outside to rake, clean flower beds, and pick daffodils, as if it were any other year. That is a great relief and reminds me of a quote from Rachel Carson, who wrote in Silent
Spring, “Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature—the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.”
I even hear my dear Dad’s voice who, in the face of our challenges, would simply say, “Don’t weaken.” We will not. So keep up the amazing work you are all doing. Hang onto every shred of wisdom you can find to keep your sanity, and remember to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us, and that will keep us going year after year.
Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM Executive Director
Originally printed in Spring 2017 Maine Environment newsletter. You can receive your own copy of NRCM’s newsletter by becoming a member today.