Inspiration springs from a web of interactions and clusters of possibility. So it’s not that I am inspired solely by my daughter, but the continuum of what Motherhood is.
After a year of working abroad in Australia, my husband and I spent 3 months hiking around the South Island of New Zealand. While there, we didn’t just connect with nature while hiking along pristine mountain ridges; we experienced the entirety of a true sharing economy. Strangers would pick us up while hitchhiking between trailheads and offer us dinner or a beer with their families. Fellow hikers would share their supplies without thinking twice, and entire towns would trade the food that they had hunted or grown with each other, making grocery stores’ primary function a place to meet, not shop. People acknowledged each other and interacted with their environment. It wasn’t always easy or flawless, but it was universally recognized as crucial to the Kiwi identity.
Once we got back to the States, we soon found out that we were going to have a baby in a part of the country where the technology industry is creating a space for the sharing economy to flourish. Yet, the homeless are as often unseen and unacknowledged as serious environmental issues that affect California.
What inspires me and where I spend my time is a combination of what work in New Zealand and the potential that my Oakland neighborhood and larger global community can offer my daughter’s generation.
Our trip and the birth of our daughter has inspired us to jerry-rig a greywater system that waters our gardens, to see and hear the homeless, engage with our neighbors, jog around Lake Merritt every morning, participate in community projects, read colorful books, visit museums, take excruciating bike rides up Mts Diablo and Tamalpais, to sing silly songs with vigor, hike in the mountains, sew lopsided quilts, and dedicate part of our weekends to trout fishing at Temescal Lake.