As I surveyed the Baby Boomer blogs this week I began to wonder: Would it be possible for the Earth to retire from its job of supporting over 7 billion (and growing at a rate of more than 100,000 individuals every day) dirty, messy, hungry, greedy, self-absorbed, disease-ridden humans?
As a bit of background, blogger Meryl Baer of Six Decades and Counting is taking a trip to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The other day, in 90-degree weather (global warming anyone?) she made a trek up to the nearby pyramids, where original inhabitants worshiped the sun, the moon and the planet Venus. She recounts her expedition in Stepping Back in Time Near San Miguel de Allende, and wonders about the venerable king who's buried there and the ancient people who lived in the area before the Spanish arrived to wipe out an entire civilization.
One word of caution though: Don't wander over to her blog if you're afraid of heights!
Meanwhile, Laura Lee in Love Has Created a Space for Us updates us on her effort to get back to nature in Colorado. She and her husband are building a solar-powered home in the foothills of the Spanish Peaks, and she notes, in C. S. Lewis's words, "You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream."
On The Survive and Thrive Boomer Guide consumer journalist Rita R. Robison takes a different approach. She recently attended an American Planning Association conference in Seattle and in Startling Ideas to Ponder on Earth Day she reports on the unconventional views of Stewart Brand, conservationist and founder of the Whole Earth Catalogue. In his closing speech, he applauded the migration of people to cities, saying that when people leave natural areas, those areas heal and return to their normal, balanced state. Brand also called for bringing back passenger pigeons and wooly mammoths to help natural areas recover in this new era of climate change.
But maybe Kathy Gottberg of SmartLiving365 has the most practical approach. In Right Sizing -- Choosing Semi-Retirement Instead of Retirement she reflects on a friend of hers who is retiring in a few months. The friend has worked at a challenging job for over 25 years, and is more than ready to move onto something new. But underlying that excitement is a bit of worry about the uncertainty inherent in the future, and that makes Gottberg reflect on how she and her husband are approaching their own future. In their quest to right-size their lives, they have gradually slipped into semi-retirement in a natural and stress-free way. So while so many people ask the all-or-nothing question about retirement, it may turn out that "right sizing" is the best solution of all.
And just maybe that's the way for us to approach Mother Earth as well. Not as an all-or-nothing proposition. Not to herd all people into artificial environments, but to appreciate the natural world, reduce our impact on the globe, and try to relieve some of the stress we put on the environment so we can all live together in a world that's not a hot, steaming garbage pit, but a beautiful garden that offers a place for all of us, and where even wooly mammoths can carve out some space for themselves on this land called Earth.