I’ve said before that the universe has a sense of humor. When I’m on my knees bellowing for somebody to help me, please god, please – the answer usually comes quickly. “Get up off your knees and stop being so melodramatic. Pick up a damn pen and write your senator. Start bringing your own coffee mug to the cafe every day like you used to. Stop saying you can’t do everything and do something. Anything.”
Last night a cheerful knock at the door revealed our friendly neighborhood Sierra Club volunteer. We invited her in and gave her chocolate chip cookies. In thirty seconds she managed to eloquently exhale solutions to every problem I felt overwhelmed by yesterday. Bush out. Biodiesel in. Alaska for us, not the oil companies. Community. Conservation. Action. Intention. Restraint. Reduce, re-use, recycle.
The Sierra Club lady is trying to convince us of the benefits of alternative fuels. I tell her our little VW Golf parked out on the sidewalk is running on 100% Biodiesel purchased from a local co-op. She asks us how much Biodiesel costs “these days” and I tell her: $3.15 a gallon, every day — regardless of who’s winning the war. We get 40 mpg. Our car smells like cheeseburgers.
I was on my scooter behind a new Beetle yesterday for about a mile, and wondered why I was suddenly craving Burger King french fries. And then I saw the familiar green rectangle on the car’s bumper, announcing proudly to the world that “My car runs on eco-friendly Biodiesel from Dr. Dan’s Fuelwerks in Ballard!” I see that rectangle and smile. It’s the secret handshake of the auto world.
When I pass other scooters, we give each other the two-fingered, two-stroke two-wheel salute. I wish we had something like that for other Biodiesels. I can tell in a parking lot when I hear the distinct rumble of a VW diesel engine, and I smell fried chicken… maybe we should start offering the sign-language equivelant of the letter “B”?
I feel the same sense of gratitude and community when I see a car with a PAWS sticker or the new WA license plates that say “Spay or Neuter Your Pet!” on them. I just want to grab the person and hug them and say, “thank you.”
The Guild Theatre on 45th in Wallingford has a large Art Deco marquee, and they put clever little comments about the movies underneath the titles. Right now, Year of the Dog is playing. One side says “scratch n’ sniff” and the other side says “Adopt a pup! 386-PETS” — the number for the Seattle Animal Shelter. I nearly burst into tears when I drove by.
So I’m not alone. Wailing on my knees is not solving anything while my fellow worker bees are out there knocking on doors, hosting benefits and making phone calls to the powers that be.
This morning in a timely synchronicity I stumbled across an entry on No Impact Man’s blog called “On Not Getting Too Down About the World.” I’m not the only one with questions.
Sooner or later, we’re bound to come up with some answers.