We had quite a good turnout for our Moving Planet day, and I think everyone enjoyed themselves. I certainly did. It was especially pleasing to see a lot of people who have never, or very rarely, come to our events, plus a lot of others who were interested to see what we were up to even though they hadn’t come for the event but were there to do their own kite flying on what was a cloudy, breezy day. Just right for flying kites. It was really quite an exhilarating sight to see so many kites up in the air, and for me and my daughter it was the first time we’d managed to get one off the ground, so we were pretty chuffed. It seemed to me to have something in common with fishing, not just because you’re holding on to a line which disappears into the murk, and which you react to whenever it gives a tug (I’ve not actually fished since I was about 8 years old); but because there’s something meditative about it. You are totally focused on your kite and how it’s behaving in the wind, which cleanses your mind of all extraneous thoughts. I guess you enter the state of ‘flow’ as Csikszentmihalyi calls it, where you are totally absorbed and deeply satisfied, virtually unaware of time passing. These are the moments that our lives should be full of – and some people do jobs where they get this sort of satisfaction frequently – rather than experiencing them as a rare kind of ‘waking dream’. You could say that one of the fundamental aims of the Transition Movement is to bring more flow into our lives, and that means, to a large extent, having less of lots of other things such as ‘stuff ‘. Kite flying will do for me, and I’m now hoping I can learn how to do it properly, and with a good kite. A new hobby no less!
The other part of the event was the swap party in which we invited people to bring along some of their unwanted ‘stuff’ and swap it for something they did want, but with no money changing hands. We had less stuff this time – I myself had only a few items to take as I’ve offloaded most of my unwanted possessions already. Nevertheless, a lot of the items were taken, and, as always, it’s very gratifying to be able to come away with a book or item of clothing or DVD and know that you’ve saved things from going to the landfill, or sitting unused in someone’s house, and have also pulled yourself back from visiting the so-called ‘shoppers’ paradise’ where your money keeps the endless cycle of consumption going to the detriment of the planet and most people on it. A small gesture but a worthwhile and necessary one.
Socially, it was a thoroughly pleasant afternoon, as such events usually are. We didn’t get round to any guerrilla gardening so that will have to wait for another day, but that didn’t detract from the fun of it all. Once again many thanks to Tania, Merrin and Kate for organising this, and likewise many thanks to all those who turned up and joined us.