Eight years ago, in pursuit of both a simpler lifestyle and simpler pleasures, my family moved ninety minutes north of Manhattan’s theater district to a landscape punctuated by barns, horses, woodlands, and ponds. I love my region’s beauty and the many little, but significant graces of smallish town living: old-fashioned neighborliness, the relative innocence of my children, knowing the couple I buy eggs and maple syrup from. While I have no enhanced love for insects of any variety and am utterly mortified when I hear a “kill” going on in the woods behind me, my love for this gorgeous, mysterious earth has deepened…I’m hooked and want to do my part to take care of her.
Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working at Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, a much-trusted leader in the wellness and personal growth industry. Woven throughout its beautiful campus are well-placed, soulful works of art. My personal favorite is a captivating row of hollowed out, progressively smaller, metal human figures that you can walk through or simply look through until you reach the final one, which is not hollowed out, but rather contains a sculpted unborn child. This sculpture by the artist, Frederick Franck, interprets the Iroquois “seven generations” rule. This rule holds that our decisions should take into account their impact on seven generations into the future. Imagine that…really. What would our world would be like, both now and hundreds of years from now if this were the guiding principle behind the choices individuals, communities and governing bodies, rather than self-interest, greed or convenience? Needless to say we all would (both figuratively and literally) breathe easier.
In the past decade or so, no experience has impacted me more than becoming a mother. It continues to teach me great lessons. I now understand why sleep deprivation is used to torture “the enemy.” I’ve learned that my heart is so much bigger than I ever would have imagined…that, yes, I am capable of unconditional love. I’ve learned the necessity of constructive action, beyond warm sentiment and good intentions.
I’ve also learned that there is so much we can take for granted, especially those things we consider fundamental. What is more fundamental to our being than the air we breathe? When we stop breathing, we’re no longer here. When we stop breathing clean air, we become vulnerable to the innumerable effects of consistent exposure to both outdoor and indoor toxins and consumption of toxin-affected goods, including our food.
I’m still learning…but, gratefully, I no longer take many basics for granted…those moments when my children look at me and share their joys or fears; real food or true friends; an honest night’s sleep. I no longer take the air we breathe for granted. This is why I joined the Moms Clean Air Force. I’ve made a “seven generation” decision, recognizing that if we don’t voice, and even demand that decision-makers secure and protect environmental basics for our children, we’re passively putting our children and future generations in harm’s way.
Clean air…so basic. Among the many decisions required of motherhood, joining MCAF was an easy one. So thankful to be part of this sisterhood.
Terri Hall is a native of New York City, currently living in the Hudson Valley. After working as a professional dancer, then in the television industry, Terri followed her interests in wellness and personal growth, and owned a robust massage therapy business for over 10 years. In addition to being mom to two of her absolute favorite people ever, Terri is a certified life coach offering in-depth, transformational coaching programs to help her clients gain clarity and create richer, more fulfilling lives. She also works as a freelance writer focusing on the areas of green living, family life and spirituality.