I've been doing something like this for 15 years now; and every year it's the same thing- "WHAT?? Already??"
Thursday (as in the day after tomorrow) is the Summer Solstice, the longest day and shortest night of the year- essentially that day in the solar year when it's half OVER.
Half the year is GONE already; and it's always a shock, both to me and to the friends who've been coming all this time.
There's already been considerable discussion here about the Whole Planet Picnic- why, when, what, where, who, and whatever.
Here are the original posts and comments:
IT'S TIME. Day after tomorrow. Ready or not.
In kind of scary ways, it's a metaphor for the world's problems. "What? Already? Ready or not?" Alas, yes; it's NOW.
So, the Executive Summary; We are beginning a tradition this year, ready or not, of Earth Lent; a one week period, beginning on the Summer Solstice, where the participants "give up something for the planet" - for a period of just one week. And, like the Catholic version; we start with a good party; only it's the Whole Planet Picnic, not Mardi Gras. Kind of a G-rated good community picnic, instead of the R and X type.
We placed the start at the Summer Solstice. No, it's not convenient. But it's REAL. This is the day the year turns over; this is THE day when the balance of nature starts to cycle down. It should be good for us to work on Nature's clock once in a while, not our own.
Then the "Earth Lent" part. Just between you and me- this community of "greenies" here is kind of small. We know that; but hate to mention it much; because if what we're doing is to be of any real use, a LOT more people are going to have to start listening, and doing.
A big big barrier to people getting greener is just that first step. So many "green practices" sound impossible to those who've never tried them- crazy stuff like "no toilet paper!" or "unplug your fridge!" or "sell your car!'. Impossible!
The Whole Planet Picnic is a way for folks to hang out, in a totally non-pressurized way, with folks who are on all sides of the situation. So you can meet someone who lives without a fridge, for example- they DO exist! It IS possible - and gosh; this person actually seems to be... a nice person, not a total whack job. The whole thing is NOT a protest; NOT a funeral - it's a picnic, and a time to enjoy and appreciate; planet and people.
And the following week - Earth Lent - is a way for neo-greens to just TRY one thing- for one week. Many many of them WANT to be greener; but just don't feel READY. Here, the barrier is low- just one thing. Just one week. They can do it.
Then - success breeds success; and belief; and a little pride here and there. We need those.
I think, and hope, this can become a larger event, with plenty of participants. I'd kind of hoped to do more promotion and publicity this year, but it's just not been possible; danged old reality keeps intruding; primarily with "sleep - now - or fall over." Kinda busy here.
But we will take the time for the Picnic; and the Earth Lent, anyway.
I truly hope you will join us, by hosting your own event aimed in the same direction. Does it have to be identical, and meet standards? Heavens, I hope not. Diversity is our only hope.
Putting on a picnic is work; no question. But there's never been a year when it wasn't worth it.
So - I hope your plans are well underway. If not- get on the phone NOW! (I have to confess, I just called my porta-potty people; I forgot before. Lucky for me, they can make it.) Get your bratwurst ordered- or your yoghurt, or whatever.
I hope you'll comment here and let us know what you're up to; and I intend to get an email address here where you can send some photos of your Planet Picnic. Hm; Crunchiqita has certainly demonstrated the value of the "contest"; perhaps we'll have one; best story; best photos; best whatever.
I'll toss one out now- I've had "The Teddy Bear's Picnic" song running through my head all day. I knew it well when I was a child, and it's kicking around a lot again. Somebody out there could write a nice parody of it, for us "The Planet Picnic" song. "for every Green that ever there was, will gather there- together because- today's the day the Whole Planet has their Pic-nic."
Let me hear from you. Put up a link to this on your blog. Email it out. Contact the Associated Press. And. DO IT. It'll make you feel good; guaranteed. And, it just might help. A little.