In fifth grade, my friend’s geologist dad came to school to tell us about climate change. I think he was really there to tell us about rocks, but what I remember most is that he measured glaciers for a living and gave us evidential proof that they were shrinking.
He told us how this affected the polar bears and rising sea levels and how one subtle shift can wreak havoc in unexpected ways, and this was all well before Al Gore and Leo DiCaprio took up twin environmental crusader mantles, but we were into it.
Glaciers also happened to be near and dear to our tiny Indiana hearts - during the Ice Age, glaciers smoothed out the top half of the state, but as soon as things warmed back up, they retreated, leaving the bottom half all wrinkled after the ironing effect had smooshed the land together ahead of the ice.*
The gradual warming of the earth and the shrinking ice and impending doom was enough to get to me to be charged up about recycling, and I had grand plans for the Rocks of Indiana project that I then procrastinated too long on and stayed up all night making my parents help me nail things to plywood.
This is all to say that it is currently 10 degrees on March 4th, and I wish more people knew how to measure receding glaciers, because it is an inadvertent disservice to climate change that we most often refer to it as “global warming.”
Because it is, and it isn’t, and it’s more, which is likely the working title of humanity.
I have a private client who wants to work on balance. She has some shoulder pain and doesn’t always feel steady. I make her do small rotations with her feet. Some flex and point. Inversion and eversion. Subtle movements. We measure her progress with repetition, by coming back to it each session to see how it feels. How many millimeters. Glacial pace.
If you have pain in your neck, it’s probably coming from something lower down. If your left hip hurts, check your right foot. If your feet need support, work the glutes.
If the weather drops 52 degrees in 24 hours, look at the .034 mm glacier change.
If the body connects in swaths and cross patterns, how could the earth be any different?
We are ice and fossils and wrinkled hilltops, after all.
None of this is particularly soothing at 3 AM, while I cannot get my hands warm and I stubbornly dream of summer. I suppose I could nail something to plywood or clean my room, but I’ll wait til later.
*This is far and away my favorite Indiana fact, and if I know you in person, you’ve probably already heard me tell this story at parties.**
**I’m not invited to a lot of parties.