Since I wallowed a teensy bit in my last post about changes the omicron variant has wrought in my holidays and high school swim season, I thought it best to turn toward the positive in my final post for 2021. The past year has been confusing at best and dizzying at worst, encompassing not only multiple waves of COVID but also a high school graduation and two kids heading off to college. We managed one large family gathering and had to cancel others, faced down a near-empty nest and forged ahead with new jobs and responsibilities.
But undeniably good things happened in 2021, too, as my Parents for the Planet Facebook page reminds me. Recent posts left me somewhat upbeat: scientists have found a bacteria-produced protein that could help clean up nuclear waste; Hyundai Motors will reportedly no longer make cars with internal combustion engines; an Arkansas school district installed 1,400 solar panels and turned a $250k deficit into a $1.8 million surplus and was able to raise teachers' salaries; and the western monarch butterfly migration showed a huge resurgence in 2021, 100,000 monarchs counted in California this year after only 2,000 in 2020.
While no one knows the reason for the butterflies' rebound in numbers, the other three articles highlighted above result from dedicated work of engineers, scientists, teachers, and thinking people who believe in science and use their imagination to see what's possible. I want to join their numbers, to turn my energies to finding what's possible, even if it's only improving my composting, turning down the heat a few degrees, or biking to more locations. We have all we need to create positive news, we just need the will to do it. Here's to 2022, when we break free of (some) pandemic fears and restrictions to focus on what's possible in an ever-evolving world.
Happy new year!