Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why radiate the beauty of creation?

This has been a full week. We have passed through an area full of radiation "incidents". Most prominant result is the high rate of child lucemia. The Irish Sea had radiation wastes dumped into it in the 50's. Nuclear radiation has been released into the environment from the nuclear plant we will visit soon. Chernobyl released radiation into Northern Europe due to east winds at the time, much landing in the hills of Scotland. More recently, we walked through the base where the Royal Air Force practiced firing DU along the coast.

The Sunday newspaer has a nice panaramic picture of us walking into town, Creetown, to highlight an article about the fact that the UK Department of Health will not release a report about radiation in the area.

Our recent walk took us to the town of Kirkcudbright, where we were hosted by activists, including church folks. They have some most knowledgeable people, but "apathy" rules the day. Our hosts thanked us heart fully for coming and moving them to move into more action.

The countryside and water are so beautiful, with spring flowers ruling the day. I never saw so many cows, sheep, and to a lesser degree, horses. It is very pleasant walking along side roads in this place, two lane main highways are another story. For a few days I could wear my cotton Gandhi clothing since it was sunny and hot. The last two days brought back the wool clothing and rain poncho. There was a stretch yesterday where the wind tried to undress me. Now, we are at a World Peace retreat center with a needed rest day. We continue to be very well fed. Our night in the wild two nights ago was needed respite from too much food. Even there, we were brought up a casserole and desert.

Just past the firing range for DU, etc, we stopped at the partial shell of Dundrennan Abbey, a classic middle ages abbey now a visitor site. It was founded by the 12th Century Cistercians of St. Bernard fame. I was moved because it is the same monastic order of Thomas Merton in Kentucky. I thought of Merton's latest book, Peacemaking In A Post Christian World, published forty years after his death. Th local pastor told me that his church was built with some of the stones from the Abby after the reformation (Church of Scotland) by the former abbot of the monastery, and that now the roots of the next paradigm or religious meaning are beginning. Perhaps, the mix of folks I am walking with and meeting are the co-creators of that paradigm.

I am impressed with the awareness of peak oil, global climate change, the futility of modern war, organic living and agriculture that our present hosts embrace. Flashback to Cleveland: I was surprised by the awareness there too. But, we are all captured by modern transportation, etc.

Talking about transportation: my feet are getting me there, but with discomfort due to various maladies. the rest of the body is doing very well.

Today, we are in Dumfress, tomorrow move on toward the nuclear power plant.


Julie said...

Bill's update on Barry Commoner(a few entries ahead)led me to a really hopeful story about a tower that is to be constructed in Australia, which will use a combination of wind and solar energy to provide power for a small city--cool, yes?

{The story is from October of '06, so perhaps the organizers of Bernie's walk who hail from Australia know whether construction has yet begun.)


I am encouraged by this project--people are finding good ways to provide power without radiating the beauty of creation.

And in a nice turnabout--as Bernie noted, wind carried radiation from Chernobyl (spreading the human-created devastation), but this time wind created by this solar tower will turn the turbines to produce this energy.

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