Just as I came into the Stratford Goodwill last week, I saw a young woman buying a bridal dress. She was a pretty woman, with a nice smile, and seemed delighted to have found the right dress. It made me feel just extraordinarily happy to see a young person who understands what’s important in life. No hype—not the label, not the fancy store, just a nice dress to mark the beginning of a life together. I hope they have a great party. I hope she recycles the dress.

Screen Shot 2019-12-18 at 12.12.14 PMWe are afraid of the future these days. At the mildest level, this shows up as a general crankiness, and a tendency to call people names on Facebook. As we become more aware, our fears manifest as anxiety and grief. At the most extreme level, there’s a large chunk of people actively planning for the collapse of society.

But here’s this young woman, cheerfully and resolutely buying her wedding dress. At Goodwill. Some people just won’t give up on life.

Here’s what I think:

Whatever your state of life, if you’re forming a couple, it’s important to have a ceremony. And a party. Because that’s the way we create social bonds, that’s how we cement our communities. It’s only through community that we’re going to find the will to get ourselves out of the mess we’re in. Be resolute. Be cheerful. Be together.

And keep building your community. If you live in Stratford, there’s a group that regularly meets to talk about climate change, ecological loss, and ways of dealing with it. The name of the group is Climate Momentum, and they have regular gatherings at The Parlour, downtown. It’s not exactly a party, but you can get a beer or a nice glass of wine, and the people are interesting. The next meeting will be January 26, a Saturday, from 2:30 – 4:30 pm (The Parlour is at 101 Wellington Street, Stratford).

Mazel tov.

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