Do Something!

There’s a useful parable about a man who comes upon a sparrow along the edge of a road. The sparrow is lying on its back with its feet sticking upward. The man asks the sparrow what it is doing. “I heard that the sky is falling,” the bird replies, “and I want to hold it up.” The man laughs at the bird. “You believe that you can hold up the whole sky?” “No,” the bird says. “But one does what one can.”

With all the problems of the world, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, or to feel as though the things we’re doing can’t possibly make a difference. Been there, done that. In fact, I still feel that way some days. Happily, today’s not one of ‘those days’ though.

I’ve had the luxury of keeping warm with an energy-efficient wood stove for the last 10 winters, but that all changed when we moved to our current home last summer. Now we’re keeping the thermostat low while trying to stay comfortable in a 113 year old house. It seems my hands are always cold, especially at night while I’m in bed reading, covered up to my neck with quilts. The hand that holds the book outside the covers freezes! Or when I am at my desk, my ‘mouse hand’ always seems extra cold. Then I saw this idea on the internet and knew that even I could do this simplest of things to feel more comfortable. I’ll let the pictures tell this simple story:


I really can’t believe how much warmer and more comfortable I feel using my ‘new’ fingerless gloves! The pictures I saw online of this project all showed them made using  heavy knit sweaters, but I felt I wouldn’t be comfortable with all that bulk and I was right. The thinner knit is perfect for me. If you haven’t already tried this remedy I suggest you go to the back of your closet right now, find an old sweater you don’t wear anymore and cut the sleeves off, then cut a thumb-hole. You can sew it all up and make it nice and neat, or you can do like I did and just leave it as is and be warmer within 5 minutes. Whatever your choice, you won’t be disappointed in the comfort they offer, I promise you. Oh yeah, if you don’t cut too much sleeve off the sweater,  you can turn that raw edge under and have yourself a vest or shell to wear under other things. It’s still hard for me to believe that something this small made such a difference in my comfort.

Of course my cold hands aren’t part of the world’s problems, but the reality is that we are fast approaching a tipping point tin terms of climate disruption, food production, financial sequestering meltdown and Peak Oil. (Yes, I KNOW the stock market is breaking records and I personally couldn’t be happier about that, but knowing that what goes up must come down concerns me too.) So, cold hands aside, with problems this big, what can I do about them? Like the sparrow, one does what one can. Whether it’s growing a tomato in a pot, or participating in a rally against the proposed XL pipeline, we can all do something.

What are you doing to help mitigate the coming changes in our world? What are you doing to make your life and that of your family and community more resilient and self-sufficient? Do you feel overwhelmed~ or empowered?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. Tomorrow might be ‘one of those days’ for me and your comments might be exactly what I need to get through it.


2 Comments so far
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Good job. You’re on track. Warm your hands, stick our feet in the air and hold up the sky. Thanks.

Comment by informationforager

I’ve installed solar PV, I cycle to work to reduce my impact. It keeps me fit too! Whilst others complain I tell them of the benefits of my lower impact life style.

Comment by mappedit

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