I had a spectacular hike on Tenderfoot Mountain outside of Dillon, CO. We were walking with our hiking boots on a very snowy and icy trail. We added spikes on the bottom of our shoes for traction and to keep from slipping. The trail was covered in probably 8-10″ of new snow that had fallen the day before. The air was still and cold, the snow still clinging to the trees around us. As the trail was covered and deep, I walked carefully in the footprints my husband made in the snow as he steadily broke trail.
There is a thrill of breaking trail and making progress. You are the first to walk in the pristine unbroken snow,or the first to ski fresh tracks after a snowstorm. Its a form of creating change. Its hard work, but has the rewards of doing something that no one has done that day. When you are on a new trail with others, you often take turns breaking trail to minimize fatigue and keep everyone in the group safe.
Hiking for me is a form of meditation, especially when you have to concentrate on every step and just watch the depth of the snow, hear the crunch underfoot and stay clear of the ice. My mind cleared as I just looked at our footprints in the snow. I couldn’t help thinking about all of those who have are also braking trails now in climate change action and are finding successes where others have failed.
Climate Change Action is being fueled by a band of an unlikely leaders. Teenagers and children. On Friday March 15th, 2019, hundreds of thousands of children from around the world left their classrooms and demonstrated. Its very easy to see their point of view. Why sit and gain skills for an uncertain and to some, a doomed future? Fridays for Future is more than a passing whimsy. These young adults and children are eloquent, organized and motivated to save their future. The financial successes of the industrial and technological eras have come at an unthinkable price tag–the Anthropocene era, the catastrophic modification of our life support systems. Its a hang over for which we know no cure.
I am inspired and often brought to tears from the conviction of these kids. When the climate news becomes too much, I breathe deeply and gain strength from the newest voices in this work–people like Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Villasenor, Haven Coleman and Isra Hirsi. I welcome them to the path and like an aging, weary hiker, welcome them to break trail and drop in behind their footsteps.