Writing about his experience at Siccar Point, Scotland, the 19th century scientist John Playfair remarked
“the mind seemed to grow giddy by looking so far back into the abyss of time.”
Playfair had joined his fellow geologist James Hutton on an expedition to examine the stratified rocks at Siccar Point, and it was Hutton who proposed the Earth was much older than the 6000 years touted by the church at the time.
Photo: Siccar point, Scotland © Dave Souza, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons The horizontally layered rocks on the top right were originally deposited in a DESERT 345 million years ago (Devonian period). Underneath lie vertical sedimentary rocks containing marine fossils deposited in a DEEP OCEAN about 425 million years ago (Silurian period). The line between them is known as an ‘unconformity’ line where an old, eroded land surface is buried under younger rock layers.
As part of the Joy Adventure we have been exploring the idea of Deep Time – the time scale of geologic events, which is vastly, almost unimaginably greater than the time scale of human lives and human plans. Allowing my mind to expand into Deep Time has brought me great comfort.
When faced with climate change I can feel the pressure and urgency to act now. And while change does need to happen quickly, I find the “act now” message sends me into a cycle of freeze and fight responses. From “it’s too big and overwhelming” to “I need to do ALL the things to change it”.
In the past I have donated to calls for action through We Are Stardust reactively and with panicked urgency and I have long wanted to have a coherent, long-term commitment for donating money for a thriving planet. Learning about Deep Time I have been reflecting that if short termism got us into the climate crises then perhaps long term thinking can help us get out of it.
“If urgency got us into these conditions, will urgency be the thing that gets us out? Or do we need to try a different relationship to time? An older relationship to time? A pre-clock relationship to time.”
- adrienne maree brown
So I’m excited to announce that We Are Stardust is now part a member of the 1% For The Planet community representing businesses, individuals and nonprofit organizations tackling our planet's most pressing environmental issues. As a member I pledge to give 1% of gross sales from We Are Stardust (i.e. 1% of all money made in a year not just profit) through a combination of monetary, in-kind and approved promotional support directly to environmental nonprofits.
The indigenous Haudenosaunee Confederacy would sometimes take days to make decisions, projecting into future Deep Time and incorporating the imagined viewpoints of the seven generations to come. I am also taking my time to decide exactly which charities and nonprofits I’d like to donate to and will let you know very soon.
I am really proud to be part of 1% For The Planet. Thank you for your support that has allowed me to get to a place to make this happen - it is an important part of deepening the creation of the loving, supportive, creative world that is We Are Stardust.
p.s. If you're feeling stuck in the freeze or fight response, I'd love to invite you to take the gentle pre-recorded online Summer Grasses Nature Journaling Workshop where I guide you through creative prompts to help nurture your reciprocal relationship with nature through gratitude, nature journaling and action.
p.p.s. If you're interested in learning more about earth time and Deep Time by deepening your relationship with the more-than-human world on your doorstep (Deep Life!), I welcome you to sign up to the waiting list for my upcoming year long programme ‘Rewild Your Soul - a year seasonal adventures’, opening for enrolment in September 2022.
Image: Agnes sitting at a table writing. Credit: Siobhan Calder Photography.