Updated: Aug 24, 2020
Hello people trying to learn the 'new normal', I hope you are all doing well. I have to be honest, I got very shaken up when the lockdown happened and I am still working on finding a new balance. I am trying to shake the anxiety I have been feeling ever since. I am one of the lucky ones, I spent the months of lockdown with my partner, not alone and we have a garden, so we did a lot of digging and planting in between going for big walks. I didn't make banana bread but I became a master of making carrot cakes which is to the delight of my family. During lockdown, when I was allowed time to think, I had some very dark thoughts popping up. My main anxiety was around work and unemployment and, unfortunately, it is indeed a serious problem by now. I listened to some very interesting podcasts and I heard about Franklin Roosevelt's Green Deal as an answer to the great depression after the second world war. It felt so right - a green shoot, a new beginning, a good project to focus on and hold on to. I know there was a speech about a 'New Deal' but it feels out of my reach, something centrally organised that I cannot be a part of. So far nothing changed around me, I haven't come accross a big increase of green jobs and green initiatives and so I kept talking about it. And then along came my friend, Eva, who you will meet on this website as she is one of the people running it, and she told me about Salisbury Transition City. I hope Eva will write her own blog post because I love listening to her, she has an irresistible vibe of hope and excitement. She can be a bit quiet but soon chirps up when you ask her about STC, the repair shop and the share shop, or the different organisations she spoke to in the last few months. There is a massive network of groups locally working on similar principles, keeping the environment and their community in their focus and I never even heard of them before. She also told stories about individuals with mind blowing initiatives, about grassroot movements and a community of like minded people. Eva brought hope. For the last three weeks I have been going to the Saturday morning get-togethers in Lizzy Gardens and it has been great. I would describe STC
as a very gentle group, if that makes sense to others. The way I see it, there is a core group with a lot of passion and drive and they are doing a lot of work organizing, planning, holding meetings with the city council and networking with similar organisations to themselves. And while they do all that they are also inviting people to come along and bring their own vision. My experience is that I am still finding my place which I find great. No pressure. One can easily take part in the conversations and then it is up to me to decide how I utilize the energy that I felt during the meeting. I am not an environmentalist and luckily I don't have to be. The group comes together on a regular basis and they chat, the organisers share their news and talk about their plans and I feel involved but also commitment free. We don't talk about the threat of an environmental collapse, we don't set targets for going zero waste by a certain time and we don't compare our personal achievements in how green our individual lifestyles are. The conversation is about actual steps, meetings with relevant people in the field and about local initiatives which I find constructive and positive. If there is a group to keep you up to date about what is happening locally relating to the 'New Deal' - or the environmental part of it at least - this is it. I want to hang out with people thinking in a caring way as that helps with re-building my sense of security. The word 'networking' used to be such a bore when I had to do it for my job. But now it is getting a new, positive meaning in my mind and I can't wait to learn the map of local organisations that we can connect with, branching out and building a community.
Salisbury Transition City seems the perfect group to be part of right now and I am very much looking forward to see it grow and to play my part in that. Whatever that part may be.