Saturday, October 16, 2010

In the Dark

I'm a junkie for natural light. I'll open every window in the house or office before I flip on an overhead light or click on a lamp. I enjoy the softness of it. I enjoy not wasting energy when I can see perfectly fine in the given light. I just feel more content.

But... I'm learning that here in Montana, there is an entirely different way to be "green." I can't tell you the number of times someone comes by my office and says, "Oh, you can turn on the light...." To their credit, they don't actually flip on the light for me but they do give me a funny look. Additionally in a classic bulletin-versus-hymnal discussion, no one ever mentioned that it is more environmentally friendly to use hymnals. It just never came up. This is especially difficult for me after basking in the uber green collective conscience of the seminary.

So I'm trying to figure out how to define being green in Montana. I am surrounded by natural wildlife preserves and national parks, gardens in over half the homes, natural and local products in all the grocery stores, and a unending desire in everyone I meet to be outdoors and in nature. This last piece seems most crucial as we are celebrating the warm days that still remain and lamenting the onset of cooler weather.

It isn't green as I know it, but I'm discovering the deep joy that is Montana's love for mother nature. Why else would you live here? Or better yet, how can you deny the beauty when you live in the middle of it?

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