Submitted by Janice Rous, Orlando, Florida: Wounded by Development
Joy: Here’s our ROLROE [Reclaiming Our Lives/Reclaiming Our Earth] and friends group today on a blighted patch next to Interstate 4 in the Orlando area, where what used to be trees and oranges have been replaced by immense metal utility poles and piles of rubble in preparation of an expansion of the highway (if you’ve every heard of the I-4 corridor, this is it). As we participated in the Global Earth Exchange event, we made a bird figure from twigs and branches in the sand, noted the beauty (little flowers) that Nature places even in blighted places, thanked Mother Earth for all her nurture, and pledged to help mend the broken and wounded places.
Erin: So grateful to be part of this small but deeply significant act… I grew up very close to Disney, and witnessed lots of wounding of the earth as a child. More tourists meant less forests and more gas stations, hotels, and outlet malls. So that was on my mind while helping to gather materials for our bird today. I love you all and hope we see one another soon.
Naomi: I can relate with Erin. I grew up in rural areas until I moved to Florida in 2000. I lived in MetroWest by Universal Studios, where there was constant development and I was suddenly exposed to acres of trees being felled at every turn. There were 2 large plots of land near my house that harbored pine forests. I remember when they started bulldozing to build even more apartments and condos and a Barnies coffee and a bank. I screamed and cried over those trees. All for cheaply-built, overpriced, unnecessary boxes. I’m not exposed to that as much these days and I forgot how devastating it is. Now with the highway expansion, this overwhelmingly familiar feeling of anger and grief is arising as I see established growth being destroyed and my heart breaks.
It’s a relief to know others who remain connected and aware.