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"Yes. Good. On We Go." (The End of a Five-Year Journey)

Posted Jun 21 2013 8:24am
The seeds keep getting eaten and I had to replant three times, but now it seems that these cucumber babies at the food pantry garden's prototype Edible Bus Shelter are on their way, with pole beans right beside them.

I've already heard all the reasons why there can be no actual edible bus shelter in my city . I've heard the reasons why my city can't tell citizens what the probable emergency shelter would be in case of emergency ( see update here ). I sat in on a three-hour meeting determining the direction of my city's sustainability commission yesterday, where the call for metrics and goals had me shooting photos of the ceiling fan going in circles as that had been already decided in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan years ago and was supposed to be completed by the city in 2011*. Good people with extraordinary expertise are volunteering their non-renewable resource of time and perhaps getting a bit stuck in bureaucracy. I hate to see that, but maybe that's just how it goes. Perhaps there is no escaping that, even when you leave a bigger bureacuracy to create your own supposedly-nimble smaller entity. Maybe making simple things complicated is just what humans do over time, by nature.
wildflowers growing like weeds
I'm a weed here, which, as we gardeners know, is simply a plant out of place. I've planted the seeds I could. More good has come than I expected. All in all, it has been worth it. But as what was the newest city in the United States comes upon the five-year anniversary of when citizens voted to form it, the aperture of opportunity for people like me has closed. The seeds that could be planted have been planted.

Every community has its own path and pace. What will be will be. My days of covering this "what will a new city choose to do" story are now officially over. (Here are posts from the first year in a blog specifically dedicated to that beat , if you are interested.) By the way, I never intended to get involved hands-on. I simply wanted to bear witness as a writer--see Suddenly, Anything Is Possible . But I'm glad I did--it was very eye-opening, fun, and rewarding. Consider getting involved in your city, at least for awhile. And, seriously, don't move anywhere without familiarizing yourself with the master plan priorities of where you're considering moving.

There are certain things I've learned to accept over time, and I am grateful for this:
* I accept that I live in a particular time in history.
* I accept that I live in a particular place in a particular country.
* I accept that finding and affording "perfect solutions" is challenging and not always possible.
* I accept that doing the best I can under the circumstances is sometimes enough.
* I accept that sometimes actions serve no other real purpose than to be symbolic, because children are watching and learning and one day may be capable of making a real, not symbolic, impact.
* I accept that everyone has a different path and pace on the journey, and everyone is deserving of respect.
* I accept that many people want to be divisive and to stereotype and discount others, rather than truly listen, share, and learn together.
* I accept a positive, joy-based journey for myself and those who join me on the journey, without negative energy to distract and divide. As Willy Wonka often said, "Yes. Good. On we go." Let's see what's next for us on our FoodShed Planet, shall we?

* This is from my city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which was adopted by the mayor and city council in 2010:

The City will establish an action plan towards achieving more sustainable practices. This Sustainability Plan will build upon the Green Community certification to define what Dunwoody citizens envision for economic, environmental and social sustainability goals, and to establish milestones and performance measures specific to the City of Dunwoody’s opportunities and challenges.

"Developing a sustainability plan" was scheduled on the Comprehensive Plan's Short Term Work Program for 2011.  

eclectic food-for-thought for a changing world
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