Living on an island has more challenges than running out of ice cream when the wind kicks up. We depend on our marine habitats for their aesthetic value, i.e. tourism, and their viability as fisheries. Our island has the unique gift, and challenge, of being one of the most desirable summer colonies on the planet. We have a huge influx of summer guests and, well, their money. No complaints there. The standard set for aesthetics is however a sacrifice. Disney Land needs to look the way it does, otherwise no one would visit. It's the same here. Grey shingled homes, a harbor only populated by moorings and cormorants, and a quaint town equipped with five star dining. We aim to please, even at our own expense.
Our fisheries have been here longer than any other industry, or people for that matter. Shellfishing is inseparable from our identity. As the last few decades passed, all of our mainland neighbors have lost their fisheries to pollution and overdevelopment as we anxiously pray for a good year. We however have a contradiction, that has come to surface only a few years ago.
Landscape development and construction is a massive industry here. Large seaside estates ring the island, and islanders and migrants alike flock to tend to them. Like Disney Land, everything has to look perfect. This means dense plantings, constant maintenance, and over fertilization. The latter is where we find the problem. Those same fertilizers which keep the islands properties verdant, are also the future demise of our fisheries. Algal blooms and excessive bacterium levels threaten to destroy our estuaries and harbors, all thanks to some very green lawns. As a Pagan, an Islander, and a Landscaper, this poses a problem.
The thesis here is that as Pagans, we have a burden placed on us to live the values that we not only preach, but that are inherent to our spirituality. Environmental viability is a base need for mankind, and Pagans take that a step further to include our Gods and Spirits( Dé ocus Ande.) This means making sacrifices that seem otherwise altruistic for our future, and the future of our sacred places. Unfortunately, this contradicts our more immediate needs at times.
Many of us feel isolated from those around us, because of our differences in belief. We do however share our environment, and that includes its use and threats. We are forced by our beliefs to make the right choice, and that is to put our shared land first. What reassures me when confronting the higher costs of sustainable goods, or passing on opportunities that negatively effect our ecosystem, is that we're all going to have to face this together. That really does include everybody. As a Pagan, it feels pretty good to have a bigger tribe at times like this. Take the vanguard folks.