When I first started this blog five years ago, it was originally called “North Country Pagan” because I wanted it to reflect my experiences finding things relevant to Paganism and Pagan culture in Northern NY. My blog title eventually changed because I wanted to narrow my focus more on my spiritual path of choice, but I’d like to revamp and revive it as a subtopic within my blog. As the Druidic community here grows, I thought it would be nice to discuss different events that are not organized by Northern Rivers Protogrove but, nevertheless, relate to, nourish, or engage us as Druids in training. Much of what I discuss will likely be relevant to other Pagan paths as well.
Like many good little Druids in the modern era, I was called to my path out of a deep love and reverence for Nature. I’m naturally drawn to organizations and activities that also embody that love and respect, regardless of religion. The Thousand Islands Land Trust is such a group. They work hard to put aside and preserve land along the Thousand Islands, build and maintain trails, plant trees, and install nesting grids for common terns. They have also organized hikes and kayaking excursions. Over the last few years, they have expanded their selection of community activities to involve people who may not be willing or able to engage in such physically demanding activities but still want to learn and engage with the local environment. They now offer children’s programing, a community garden, yoga for all levels along the river, and now – “green movie nights!”
The first featured film was called “Chasing Ice.” Part of the synopsis reads:
In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk.
The film was exciting as it sounds and did not dissapoint. It was emotionally moving, intellectually stimulating, and visually spectacular. The icy, glacial landscapes he and his team visited were as magical as they were distant to me. It’s amazing how the glaciers are all at once mighty and fragile in our changing world. Even if you are already convinced of global warming and of the urgency for us to make changes in our lives, the film is still worth seeing as it demonstrates the possibility for skeptics to change their mind which is uplifting. If you consider the Earth your mother, you won’t want to miss seeing a side of her most of us take for granted.
I hope the Thousand Islands Land Trust hosts more green movie nights, and I hope that more Pagans in the area take advantage of them to expand their knowledge and awareness. After all, our devotion to the Earth Mother shouldn’t stop with ritual. We must remain educated on environmental issues and make practical changes in non-ritual contexts.