In the last three years, I have witnessed the word “community” go viral. It has become the key phrase that every forward thinking organization and business is using to prove they care. It has become the cure-all for what ails our world. The most abstract definition is as follows: a group that shares commonality be it geographical, ideological or work based. In other words, community is the common ground we experience, share and agree upon. We always need community, but in a grid locked world of polarization and economic downturn this need becomes painfully apparent.
We can depend on the resurgence of neighborhood-based community when money is scarce. Tight budgets bring us back to the places that offer personalized support and entertainment close to home. I celebrate this reawakening to the importance of community and recognize it as the first step towards creating local solutions.
Since Chuckanut Transition focuses on creating resilient community, I argue it is now time for the word “resilience” to gain new importance and respect. People gloss over this term and don’t pause to understand its full weight. Resilience is the ability for any entity, like community, to cope with, adapt to, and overcome challenges. We are entering a time when we can no longer ignore the climate, economic, and social challenges we face. It is time to consider and design for resiliency.
This is opposite of what I imagine a family living in Edison, a community a little below sea level, might have concern about. According to Skagit River Basin Climate Science Report Edison and the surrounding area will face increased frequency and severity of flooding, which will also deposit more silt at the mouths of the rivers, which in turn will impede waters from draining into the sound. Rising sea level is also projected to increase ground water salinity.
Changing climate is just one area of concern in our complex, interlocked food, transportation, energy and economic systems. Once we begin to meditate on resiliency, we may begin to realize how far away from it we are. Fortunately, now that we have community and are working towards a shared common ground, it is time to create local solutions so collectively we may cope with, adapt to, and overcome the challenges we face today and tomorrow.
Sarai Stevens- Gathering Force Farm