The construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline’s southern leg is underway in Oklahoma and Texas. Depending on your worldview, extracting oil is either a boon for jobs and industry, or it’s the most potent symbol of ecocide within industrial culture. Those who believe most strongly that climate change and freedom from oil are of the utmost concern for national security and energy independence have been putting their bodies and freedom on the line to blockade the building of the pipeline. Many others, whose lives are presently supported by the extraction of crude oil and natural gas in North America have been hard at work lobbying our government officials to permit the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline and to even charge these peaceful, but persistent activists as terrorists.
I think both sides should take a deep breath, look for divine truth within, and go for a walk with a wise grandmother. This summer I am taking my sustainably powered bus, a group of spiritually aware friends, and our non-profit—The Harvest Collective—on the road with Shodo Spring—a 65 year old Buddhist Priest and grandmother of four—to walk the northern leg of the Keystone XL Pipeline. We seek to bring a deeper, more compassionate conversation as to how we can achieve security and peace for the future of our families, while fully recognizing that the community of all life on planet Earth and many individuals’ spiritual selves are suffering from a severely imbalanced give and take relationship with nature.
From July 10th to mid-October, Compassionate Earth Walk plans to traverse more than 1,300+ miles from Hardisty, Alberta, Canada to Steele City, Nebraska. We're starting in Canada because in the heart of the once untouched boreal forest, is the most expansive industrial extraction project known to humanity. We will be hosting events, including educational film screenings and dinners at the side of our bus, listening, encouraging dialogue, and offering services as permaculturists. A mutually supportive vision to create the first-known cross-continental apple orchard, flower garden guild, and butterfly migratory corridor along the trail of the proposed Keystone XL route is underway by our friends at Pipeline Peace Walk. They’re hoping to create an alternative path to high consuming lifestyles while developing a mutually beneficial relationship with nature. Like them, any are welcome to join us along our pilgrimage.
We are at a crossroads and the perspective we all cultivate, whether it be with peace and compassion, or fear and anxiety, will likely determine our collective outcome. As a humble dreamer, I simply ask that we all take a moment to reflect on what perspective we choose to approach our security and independence, so that we might traverse humanity’s collective path with greater clarity. To join us, register or donate food for our journey here.
This project is part of our Saturday series, Push for Good —our guide to crowdfunding creative progress.