The little wonders that will make you hopeful

How are you doing right now?

When I look out the window, at Europe and the world my heart gets heavy and quite sad.

Treetops, meadows and grass turn brown under a heat wave and an exceptionally dry year so far. Birds stop singing, fish die in rivers, insects are less abound. Wildfires rage in the Arctic circle, temperatures rise over 30 degrees Celsius in the same region, and some crops fail or are at least much lower than they are supposed to be. This is just to mention a few things that look terribly wrong for me.

What has already become regular in developing countries as they especially suffer from and feel climate change, the latter more and more hits and arrives in the developed world. After all, it is that developed world which is responsible for climate change in the first place.

What’s more, Mother Nature and above all the ocean is choking on plastic and rubbish from ever faster consuming humans. I think beyond repair. Every year, 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean of our blue planet. “It’s equivalent to five grocery bags filled with plastic for every foot of coastline in the world.” writes Coastal Care. And this figure rises.

The political atmosphere is no better. Moves to more xenophobia, racism, and the neglecting of environmental issues are definitely the opposite what I feel we desperately need: empathy, mutual understanding, an honest dialogue, mediation (so needed in the circle of the mightiest as far as I am concerned), a true united spirit and activeness, a global and a grassroots approach to the challenges we face, and mindfulness towards ourselves and every living creature.

I know, it looks dire and it can feel heavy. But then there is hope. The little wonders that happen within and around us. The little wonders of hope, joy, and beauty.

Look for them and be one of them.

After an eleven-days long heat wave strong winds cleared the air here and brought about a change of weather patterns. With it came a little rain.

And look what mood the sky was in. It seemed to have felt like painting. And so it painted no matter how big the issues, how dire the outlook, how bad the pollution. I and others I know of stood in awe watching the magic happen and enjoying the moment with gratitude.

That day, the sky presented me with a powerful message of how I shall never stop hoping and believing in the little wonders and what they are capable of inducing.

When it all seems to be black and white, there is colour everywhere as well, when the news only bring bad ones, there are as many hopeful ones as well, when too many politicians around the world put their energy into power games, inhumane decisions, and threats, there are more humans like you and I who have an open mind and heart, are kind, take conscious decisions, smile friendly at someone, and maybe campaign for a freer, fairer, and more peaceful world!

And a cleaner world. Just look at this young man – Boyan Slat – who with only 16 years old decided he wanted to do something against the plastic in the ocean after seeing more plastic than fish when diving in Greece. A little wonder was born in his heart. That was back in 2011. In 2018, or more exactly in 28 days, the solution he and his team from Great Ocean Cleanup came up with will start cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. A plastic accumulation zone between Hawaii and California that covers an estimated surface area three times the size of France.

From a strong orange over lighter and cooler purple tones in the pictures above, the sky suddenly burnt in red and dark violet colours.
A drop in the ocean, but at least some rain arrived.
Shine a light and be a piece of hope.

Everyone of us can be a piece of hope. Everyday.

Lush, lusher, the lushest

What a privilege these days thanks to modern technologies to be able to write this new story while sitting at the edge of a river breathing in air filled with summery warmth and being refreshed after a bath in it. I am out of reception, though. Yes, thankfully, this still exists!

Grey heron, different species of butterflies, dragonflies, and even a European kingfisher hang out here with us. Just a mere 20 minutes bicycle ride from home in the city.

While the river is flanked by forest and as such the scenery comes in varied green tones as well, I actually wanted to finally take you to the Canton of Jura. Remember the postcard I sent you?

For my Swiss German speaking readers who may find my English a bit challenging at times I narrate the story for a change:

Ich habe mal was Neues versucht und diese Geschichte auf Schweizer Mundart erzählt und aufgenommen. Einfach grad so von der Leber weg :-). Hört hier rein und lasst mich wissen, was ihr denkt:

ladybird, earth, exploring, daniela, mühlheim, danielamühlheim, nature, photography, travel,
Cows with a view

Thus my title. I think I have never seen something as lush and freshly green as this area in late spring, even though I hiked in rainforests on different continents, did my Master thesis in the biggest coherent pine forests of the Alps, drove hundred of kilometres through spruce forest in Sweden, walked trough the Valley of the Giants in Western Australia and the Giants forest in California. Never before did I feel like bathing in the lushest and most freshest #fiftyshadesofgreen. Maybe I just also was really in the mood for that green colour. Such a stupendous experience and a miraculous balsam for the soul.

What is your favourite colour right now? Read more