for the greater good
I had the great fortune of visiting Ojai in California recently for the weekend. I was taking a walk one warm evening through a neighborhood and noticed that many people had signs on their front yards stating, “We are giving up our front lawns so the farmers may grow food”. As I passed the sign the next house showcased a square of very green grass and a gentleman was watering his quadrant very purposely as I walked by.
It was such a stricking visual, one side representing the future and the other a possibly outdated standard. Just like “standards” in beauty, one year it’s Cindy Crawford and a few years later its Kate Moss, the green lawn is an outdated beauty. Once upon a time the green lawn may have represented a middle to upper class utopia, but, today, given our environmental challenges it is an overtaxing thirsty burden. Being in Ojai, and closer to food sources than Los Angeles, it is a bit clearer to see that the growing of our food trumps a green shag.
Recently I shared tea at a friend’s home. When I arrived I barely recognized her home. Her lawn had been replaced by gravel, trees, and native plants. Over tea, she was beaming with pride over the hard work that she and her husband had done to achieve this new drought tolerant look. She shared stories of visiting butterflies, birds and hummingbirds that now visited her new garden. Their timing had worked out perfectly, as a neighbor had recently sold her home and willingly donated her gravel to my friend’s new project. That’s the beauty of doing something with purpose and for the bigger purpose because seemingly out of nowhere help appears!
For as long as I can remember there have been threats in the news about our water supply being drastically low. Yesterday, buried under celebrity news, I found staggering articles from NASA and other reports regarding how drastic the situation currently is. Years ago I remember visiting Santa Barbara and noticing that some front lawns had been spray painted green in lieu of watering. Living in a large city like Los Angeles allows us to be much more anonymous in our living choices. Tales of people not knowing their neighbors is very common in LA. I imagined in Santa Barbara that when a block of homes decide to “let go of their lawn”, that one would feel the pressure to do the same for the sake of the bigger picture and the possibility of being shunned by your neighbor.
As we move this country towards working for the greater good for ALL, a shift in thinking must occur. Water is a natural and necessary resource that should be had by all. Given our current restraints, as a collective, we must choose our usage wisely and with care so all that may enjoy the many benefits of a plentiful water supply. As we shift to this collective thinking, it will be easy to see that there are plenty of resources for all.
There is a beauty when practicing in a room with other yoginis. We uplift one another with our energy and we share our collective breaths. The yogini beside me or the one across the room are often those that remind me to breath. This is why I continue my yoga practice because when I leave class I believe that anything and all is possible as long as we work together for the greater good.