There is something close to magic, a place of Zen when you swim in warm waters and share that space with sea turtles and manatees. Our recent travels open the door to that part of the southeast coast that offers wildness not on land, but rather in the waters that remain rich in life and natural beauty.
Yet within this place of beauty (greed and taradiddle) seem to hold court over the sanity of protecting that which speaks to life, that which reflects the unbridled joy that is wild nature. The rush to develop is a cancer that seems to have no end in sight; signs speak to new development plans even as the waterfront begins its decent into the ocean. Governors will not even permit the words climate change to be used and in Florida, despite the passage by a 75% margin to add taxes to buy lands to protect the Everglades, the Governor finds ways to not purchase the land. Once again a major corporation-sugar reigns supreme over the clear wisdom of protecting that which is priceless.
In order to stop the bludgeoning of our planet, we must dig into the human psyche and energize the volition that can crush such madness. Along the way, we had the privilege of meeting a group of people living in the oldest trailer park in Florida. They are mostly seniors; the oldest is 87, some with disabilities. Some are younger, Their Park, set by a stunning estuary is poised to become another shopping mall, with boutique stores and restaurants and not to miss the current trends condos and a high priced hotel. This, in the town of Jupiter, that is overflowing with such amenities.
Swimming in these deep blue waters which abut the Suni Sands trailer park, is like a cleansing. The water warm, clear and shallow, is filled with sea turtles, snook, barracuda, dolphin and manatee. The people are equally warm, sharing and filled with the joy that comes from natural beauty and a strong sense of community. Many have called this home for twenty years or more, the park was built in 1940 on the grounds of the former head of S&H green stamps and has once was a stronghold of the Seminole Nation, a large mound with their remains is part of the interior of this park . Yet, in 2014, the trailer park was sold for 17. 5 million to a billionaire who has decided not only to demolish the park and build another shopping Mecca, but that those waters rich in sea turtle and manatee, must be dredged so that his collection of boats can be shown off at the dock of his proposed development.
Naturally such dredging will destroy the shallow waters, the sea grasses, and everything that defines an estuary. Just as naturally local politicians and even their Congressman (Patrick Murphy, who is now running for a Senate seat) sing the praises of the developer Charles Modica, while failing even for a moment to understand the value of the people that live and care for one another in Suni Sands. Such is the occlusion of towns in search of a larger tax base or politicians in search of campaign contributions.
Having spent time with these people restores your faith in humanity. They cook together; they look out for one another, waving is a natural, door locks are optional. Many of the residents are veterans, some have spread the ashes of loved ones in the estuary, and all of them have made that stretch of water the focal point of their lives. There is the triathlete that swims the waters daily at 74, the families that come on weekends to visit relatives to swim, fish, barbeque and tune into family and friends in this wonderful natural setting. In this timeless reminder of funky, old Florida the clock is ticking fast as the developer has offered each person $1000 dollars and for it they must sign away their rights and be gone by April 30, 2016, if not, you are out by November 30.
That’s right! The guy who spent 17.5 million for the land is offering each person $1000. Thus land equals 17.5 million, people who call it home, less than-$100,000. Such Shakespearean tragedy speaks to the value of people in a world that is allowing humans, wildlife, land, water and air to be destroyed by what many call capitalism, or freedom.
When I arrived home, I walked back to my garden. Before I left it was a small patch of hope that was beginning to take root. When I reentered, it was a vast jungle of sunflowers, choking out the life and spirit of my tomatoes, eggplants, melons and peppers. Yesterday, I sat outside as the eventide came, listening to the explosion of fireworks and watched as they filled the sky, framed by sunflowers. It is tempting to leave my new jungle and hide out from the world. Yet, I would deny myself the wonder of a garden, the promise and youthful injection it brings to the heart and mind.
So I will begin today to clear my jungle, leaving parts intact, allowing the growth of my crop to reach for the sky.
The air is hot here and there is that rare humidity as the clouds build…we are entering the monsoon, it will clean the surface and enrich our soil. How then do we monsoon the very capitalism that is killing our people and our planet?
We begin, by clearing the jungle that consumes our spirit, our sense of fairness. We bring light into darkness and we hold those that would destroy precious waters and those who deserve peace in their personal twilight- accountable. Suni Sands should be saved. No, Suni Sands Must Be Saved!
For in this small mobile home park lays the very issues of environment, socially and morally, the human demand for justice, components once ignored are allowing the earth, as we know it, to slip from our grasp.
The sunflowers of my yard make you smile as they consume. So too are those elected officials that speak of liberty and freedom, while they plunder and enjoy the graft that comes with our new billionaire society.
Boom, bang, boom so the sounds came across the sky boom, bang, boom...Its ominous, boom, bang, boom, speaks of the awakening to come, Boom, bang, boom, earth, people, community, water…Boom, Bang, Boom…LIFE.
I hold tightly to the beating of a great heart-the Talisman of justice.
Bold Visions Conservation