Finding the spark to conservancy – A photo a day for 10 weeks
Yurts at Poncha Pass - Colorado Yurt Rentals and Sustainable Building Workshops - Photo of Chris in ground of Earthship

Written by Chris

January 6, 2019

The snow is dumping outside as winter finally settles in. The conditions in which I find myself are greatly improved from two months ago as I write from a house in town where I have found a place to hang my hat until spring. I started working at Monarch Mountain on ski patrol and start this week at the hospital working nights in the ICU. Already a great feeling throwing my effort into “traditional” work with a paycheck attached, given I was staining beams this past weekend and watched as the stain would bead and freeze while being applied. Slow and steady as they say. So… time to hibernate and shore up the financing for next summer and feeling lucky to enjoy running water and a warm bed once again.

This thought brings me to this post; what is it that motivates you to move outside of a comfort zone? I ask as in our modern time, much of the world has access to what one might consider a stable life. That being, if you work the 9-5, five days a week, there is food, shelter, and probably television in your life without many more questions asked. That certainly does not mean everyone and there are still roughly a billion people who live in abject poverty, something we should remind ourselves of daily. That said, many people have benefited from society’s  “progression” as you will, in its ability to provide heating, cooling, light, water, and shelter. These days, many of those service are continued to vehicles, internet, phones, food, and drink. Even for the majority of Americans, many of whom may still be struggling to meet bills, these services are almost ubiquitous and the question is posed; why leave that societal comfort when it is so readily available and dare I say, pushed on us?

Travel is relatively accessible these days, eating meat is easier than avoiding it, and driving is second nature to many. So what motivates one to make changes that flow against the grain of society at large, push these comforts from their lives, and reach for something else? To demand a drink without a straw is a scene, to bike instead of driving is a mission, or to save for something real instead of spending on a passing comfort demands patience. So what drives you to do so?

It is a unique question, with a unique answer for each person. Some people ask it, and most seem to not even know it is there to be asked as they binge the next Netflix season, or are consumed by an endless cycle of sports entertainment. Societal comfort is all around, and it begs us to sit in the couch a little while longer. I am not above these things as I enjoy entertainment as much as the next person, but I do find myself keeping these ideas of comfort at arm’s length more often these days.

I don’t have internet in my house which I find fantastic. I find myself more productive and going with intent to use the internet at the library vs. passively consuming it at home. I have more time to write, to cook, or ponder what I could be doing. I am gearing up for another session of 80-hour work weeks to pay the bills but find myself fully content to do so. I avoid red meat, buy chicken rarely these days if at all, and lead a largely vegetarian life style. Probably sounds like a boring life… a simple life? Most modern comforts and entertainment I come across, I see as increasingly false idols and I am motivated to chase a more fundamental truth.

I am motivated by our climate and pollution crisis, our social stewardship crisis of lands, sea, and animals, and to resist our increasing ease in which we are willing to trample each other on the way to the top even when we inherently know the earth is round. But I’m also motivated by my awe of nature and biology, my own human experience and my learning of human history and perseverance through the most difficult of times. To observe a creature crafted through generations over millions of years, to observe a jelly fish pulsating through crystal clear water is awe inspiring. To see the pyramids still standing, or graffiti on an alley wall where art was created out of love, free and in the open for all to see; these are humbling moments when we realize beauty is all around. Our world is full of Ying and Yang and they motivate me equally to find the energy to push back against the grain of comfort so that we might steer this train in a new direction, one in which biology thrives alongside people, people alongside each other, all empowered and made stronger from the interaction.

Life swirls around us and beneath our feet… what happens when we open our eyes…

Yet this is what motivates me… unique to myself and like yours, it does not rise overnight. Through experience and time, it has grown into its own. So how do I share my own human experience in the hopes of sharing that motivation to potentially light the spark within your own life? They say a picture is worth a 1000 words. So I figure I’ll share a picture a day for 10 weeks starting tomorrow. Mostly biology, some places, and certainly experiences, ying and yang.  So, a picture a day it will be. You can follow that story here on Instagram or find me at “Chrisbioworld”. May you find a spark that motivates you to steer your train, our train, towards a more equitable and brighter future where we do realize, and truly become stewards of this place called Earth.


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