It’s funny how one thing leads to another. Last week at our town’s Green Committee meeting, Jenn Currier spoke about an upcoming Transition Town meeting that she wants to attend. For some strange reason, I was unfamiliar with the Transition Town movement, but as Jenn explained some of the movement’s goals—food security, the emphasis on community, and resilience in the face of the many challenges we’ll be facing because of climate change and peak oil—I thought it was definitely something I should check into.
Then, today on FaceBook, I received a link—not from Jenn—about Transition Towns, and that link, in turn, lead me to the website Transition Culture, which has the tag-line “an evolving exploration into the head, heart, and hands of energy descent.” Now, you might think that a website that focuses on “energy descent” would be a rather gloomy site, but just the reverse seems to be true. Granted, I’ve only just found Transition Culture, but as far as I can tell, the website’s mood and tone are buoyant and hopeful. The emphasis is on what can be done and all the good things that can be gained by living, working, creating, and growing food close to home.
Via Transition Culture, I even watched an hour-long show on the computer, and this is something I never do. My time for watching shows is pretty much regulated to an hour or so at night. While there is a place for watching shows in my life, I want it to be a small part, not a big part, of my day. The show I watched today was Town with Nicholas Crane, and the featured town was Totnes, in southern England. Totnes is, of course, a transition town and they are doing some nifty things, including widespread use of solar panels, community festivals, and lots of local food. To justify watching this show, I viewed half of it while I was eating breakfast and half as I ate lunch.
For dessert I watched a very short video called A Story of Transition in 10 objects: Number 4. An Egg. Now, with my love of chickens and eggs, how could I resist this video? Here the focus is on Forres, a town in Scotland, and while I was drawn to the egg, what really caught my attention were the vegetable gardens, planted in a circles. I was fascinated by this layout, which looks like a terrific way to use a relatively small plot, and the circular beds appeared as though they would be very easy to tend while producing quite a bit of food.
I’m not sure if I could use the circular design on my shady plot of land. But I will certainly be thinking about how I might be able to do so because after years of talking about moving to Brunswick—a kicky college community with great restaurants—my husband, Clif, and I have decided to stay right here in Winthrop and to devote ourselves to our house, our yard, and our community.
Another circle, as we are, so to speak, back where we started.