Valentina Recla's Letter

My son Leo,

My dearest son,

As I think about you in 10 years time I am full of both hope and dread. Hope because I can see your beautiful soul growing kind, strong and full of love for life. Dread because I see with my eyes the way the world, your home, is changing and yet I am not strong enough to stop what is happening, to stop you from having to pay the price for the failure of my generation and of your grandparents' generation to take action to stop our collective madness and wake up to the reality that there is no life for us if we destroy our climate and our environment.

I pray that we will realize in time how futile most of what we spend our lives and energy caring and worrying about really is. In fact, how unnecessary so much of our activity is, pointless toil whose sole purpose is to transform living matter into money and waste to keep the economy going. This economy that was born as a tool to help us achieve a better life and who has become an insatiable monster whom we have to feed our bodies and souls to keep the cycle going. And which is now inexorably pushing us to destroy what keeps us alive. And just like King Midas we do not see how barren and sad and ultimately impossible life is if our sole aim is to transform the world around us into gold.

I am afraid mine is a pointless hope and that real action will only be taken when it is too late, when all we can hope to achieve is some degree of damage control.
And I dread the day when you will look into my eyes and ask me why I let it get to this point and if I didn't love you enough to fight with all my might when you were still to small to be able to fend for yourself in order to ensure you would inherit a livable world from me. And I am afraid I will not have a good answer to your question then.

But despite this I am not giving up. I will continue to sign petitions, write letters to CEOs and politicians, support indigenous people, show up to demonstrations, post on each and all social media platform. I will keep making changes to our life so we can thread more lightly on our precious planet. I will keep raising you to feel connected to nature and stay true to your values.

And if enough of us take these little steps every day maybe there is a path. Maybe we will be able to move away from fossil fuels once and for all, to stop the madness of single use plastics, to stop living for our work and start spending more of our time doing the things that really make us feel rich, to find a way to correct our economic system so that the vast resources that we have do not just serve a minute minority of people at the expenses of everyone and everything else. To finally realize how small we are and how little we understand of the natural world which we think we own and control. To finally realize that we are not above nature but of nature and that any wound we inflict on nature is a wound we inflict to ourselves. Because nothing short of this is what is going to save us now.

With all my love
Your Mamma

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