[Editor's note: This submission arrived after the one I put up a few hours ago and was written independently of mine — so I'm adding it as a separate post. Thanks Brian!]
About 40 people gathered at High Mowing on Sunday afternoon to hear a talk by Tina Clark, an organizer for Transition-US. It was great to hear from someone who has been around to many transition communities and initiatives. She reviewed the basic history of the movement, but moved quickly into the main ideas, knowing that we were all eager to figure out where we want to go next. Tina gave an exciting picture of how fast and far the movement is spreading, in more than 30 countries, with more than 1000 transition towns in the British Isles, and several hundred in this country, too.
It was good to hear her say that the point is to get going: “It’s a hands-on movement.” It helps to be reminded that many of the community processes that will make it possible create a more resilient and joyful future, as our society powers down, are already in place, and our transition work involves seeing and honoring them as well as inventing new ways to connect ourselves, and pool our resources — especially our resources of will, heart, and knowledge. One phrase she used a lot was “collective genius,” the kinds of wisdom that can be found and nurtured when people who know and love their towns or region work together to do things that they value. The emphasis on shared goals, shared benefits, can help us look past politics and personality, and it’s more than pretending to get along. Variety is powerful, when harnessed to an intent to cooperate, and an expectation that cooperation can happen — sometimes easily, sometimes with honest struggle.
There were folks from Lyndeborough, Temple, Wilton, Amherst, and Milford present, and Tina got us thinking about what each of us has to offer. It’s easier to think about that, and make the offer, knowing that no matter what you can do, it’s one more resource in a community that has abundance. I noticed that the longer we thought about it, and heard what other people offered, the easier it was to think, Oh yeah, I forgot, there’s something else I can do…So it’s a continuing mix of action and learning, searching and finding, accepting and giving. Tina got a lot of us thinking, and hammered home the message that the way we find to move towards our goal is our own — we can learn from others, but we are the explorers and builders for our own future.
Come to the community supper at SHARE in Milford, Weds. Oct 4, 5:30, and let’s enjoy each other’s company and keep on going!