Frank’s message about taking our power back was so simple, yet it was powerful. I felt empowered and enabled by his message.
Frank’s message was simply to act, to choose, to do, to take that step.
So, power is not something that we should talk about as if it is something that we can hold in our hands or take from someone or give to someone. Power is the ability to do, to act, or to produce. Power is doing, taking that step.
Last autumn, I was feeling helpless and overwhelmed by all the work to be done on part of the land that I own and therefore have to take responsibility for. Part of the 10 acres that I steward (aka own) is a pipeline easement. It runs up the far boundary of our property line for a good 600 feet and is about 60 feet wide or more. It gets a lot of sun and provides habitat for sun-loving plant species and the animals that thrive from those species. Rabbits, grouse and field mice do very well there. In turn, those animals help the foxes and coyotes to do well, since they prey on the rabbits, mice and grouse. There are also wild turkeys living there. Also porcupines and raccoons.
For me, the pipeline provides a stunning view into the Sutton River valley and beyond to the westwood hills and Mount Pinnacle. It is the only year-round view on my heavily wooded property.
Last autumn, I contemplated having to clear or pay someone to clear the young birches and pines that were beginning to take over on the pipeline from the blackberry brambles and wild spirea. I did about five hours of work back there and it was rough work, but it left me feeling empowered. I could take care of the pipeline as an ‘open canopy’ (aka full sun) species habitat for the forseeable future. If I did a little bit at a time, if I dedicated about five or six hours every spring and every fall to doing the work, I could keep it under control.
What I didn’t want to do was to just leave it to grow and grow, turning a meadow into a young forest with trees becoming harder and harder to cut down. There is a lot of forest around here – tens of thousands of acres of forest. There are lawns and gardens and there are farmers’ fields. The habitat that is most rare in this area is wild meadowland offering plenty of sunshine to flowering grasses and small bushes, which is exactly what the pipeline offers to the species that thrive in that habitat.
So, just by doing it, just by taking that step and taking ownership and responsibility for it, I empowered myself and went from feeling helpless and overwhelmed, to feeling able, strong, capable and empowered.
And I think that is what Frank LaMere was reminding us of in his words in the Talking Circle on Saturday, April 20. Power is the ability to do, to act, to produce. When we do nothing to exercise that power, we forget that we have it and we then feel powerless. All we have to do to reclaim our power is to start using it again.
For a link to the show with Frank Lamere, click here.