A vision for the future
I’m going to cast my mental eye forward to the year 2030, close to 8 years from now, and imagine what our streets and homes look, feel, smell and sound like. No, I’m not anticipating flying cars, ala The Jetson, but indeed a world in which everything we have hoped to have happened in regards to climate action, has happened. Let’s just say collectively we’ve gotten on with the job and dramatically reduced our carbon emissions through action at a local, national and international level. This is a recurring concept in the Transition Movement and one that Rob Hopkins, its founder, often extols others to take part in.
The first thing I notice when I step outside of my front door is the radically different sounds that predominate within the neighbourhood. Gone is the constant hum and growl of the highway, to be replaced by something much more magical, bird sound. Not only do I hear them but I also see many of them darting about between the fruit trees and native trees that have been planting in the street in the last few years. I pick up my satchel and head off down the street, I pat my son on the head as I pass him sitting on a stool beside his table that he made for his roadside stand where he sells a number of our household’s products including jams, preserves, eggs, honey, terracotta pots and seeds. I holler out to his brother who is gathering sticks in the street to make kindling, which they also sell at their stand as well as collect for the family’s wood stove.
Stopping to chat to the neighbours who are also out the front on their yards planting capsicum and eggplant seedlings on their verge. Another neighbour trills her bell at me as she rides past on her bike with her latest stash of collected leaves, tucked away in a sack on her bike trailer. I wave her over and mention that I’ll help her with her composting later on if she’ll look after the boys while I duck down the street for 10 minutes. She happily agrees and plays shop with the boys.
In the next street I smell the lovely wafts coming from the bakery which has been converted back to a corner store in recent times after having been used as a house for the past 30 years. I note that I should grab a few treats on the way back for the boys. Walking down the centre of the street I forget that the lack of noise doesn’t mean complete road safety. An electric car has to come to a quick stop as I didn’t bother to look both ways when crossing. ‘Oops’ I say and wave to the occupant who gives me a friendly tut tut, but who also waves and drives slowly on as he sees boys and girls playing hopscotch further along the street. I glance about and take a deep and satisfying breath, enjoying the scent of flowers which literally spill onto the side of the road. The air is abuzz with insects which hover and swarm amongst the understorey in people’s yards and on the street verge. Most streets were converted to single lanes about 5 years ago as the uptake of car share amongst friends and neighbours has seen a dramatic reduction in the need for parking as well as the number of cars on the road. Roads have therefore been dug up and peoples’ notional yards have extended into what was once space for street parking.
I arrive at my friend’s whole foods shop, I drop the satchel on the counter and he counts the number of potatoes I’ve brought, ‘What would you like in exchange?’ he queries. I suggest a bag of flour and some salt. Although I grow a large amount of food for my family and neighbours, there’s still plenty of goods I still don’t produce but happily purchase from the local shops and at local farmers markets. Its lunch time and his shop is very busy with customers filling their own jars, others drinking local cordial, his specialty, or sampling his home made cheese. I tell him to come over after work and enjoy a batch of cider I’ve just finished. He heartily nods.
I return home, flour and treats in hand, and take a pleasant rest on my front verandah watching the busy interaction of humanity and nature taking place in my neighbourhood street.
This has been but a brief story of my vision for 2030, what happens in yours?
Transition Dubbo acknowledges the traditional custodians of the land on which we live, who build and foster sustainable communities. We also pay our respects to elders past, present and future.