I would’ve been about 16 or 17 when I came across Gavin Aung’s comic strip illustrating potentially the most famous excerpt from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot. To paraphrase, all of our pasts and futures, dreams and losses, wars and loves have taken shape on what is a mere speck in the gigantic scheme of things. A grainy photograph of a pixel taken by the Voyager 1 spacecraft from six billion kilometres away, that contains the sum total of all that has been and all that is possible.
What is possible?
I’ve lost track of the number of times I have revisited the piece over the years. Like this week for instance, as we thought of what we wanted to say for Earth Day. Some days I’m unconvinced of the idea of attaching one day to a cause. Is it enough? Where does the conversation go the day after that? On other days I feel maybe this is a day to take stock – to pause and reflect on what it could mean to look at what is possible. For whether we like it or not, this is it. The pale blue dot is home for as long as we’re here.
The little over three months I’ve spent at Rainmatter have been chaos and contemplation for me in equal measure. And only now do I feel like I’m getting a hang of what it is about. What it feels like most often is all teams firing on all cylinders at all times. As the year progresses, different initiatives under Rainmatter continue to take shape – we are exploring new partnerships with the intention of mitigating the different challenges presented to us by the climate crisis, we are taking steps to make it easier for corporates and organisations to reduce their waste footprint, we’ve welcomed new teammates to delve deeper into areas of conservation, energy, urban planning and more, we’re developing our own understanding of what it means to move from interventions to response and what it looks like on ground, Grove is taking a shape of its own, we are building a set of playbooks that encompass the best practices across areas of climate and sustainability, which could become a roadmap for those starting afresh.
My biggest takeaway from the months I’ve spent here has been people’s willingness to share. In spite of all the work they’re shouldering, more often than not, when there appears an opportunity to reach out, share stories and learnings, mentor and provide guidance, collaborate, or explore newer avenues – our partners are always game, and we are richer for these stories, collaborations and contributions. The connections we’ve been able to form and envision to enable change will begin in small ways, filling in gaps of the complex climate puzzle, to eventually culminate into pushing the needle in a meaningful way. That is the hope.
What we are trying to do here is connect the dots, for the pale blue dot.
Cover image source: https://solarsystem.nasa.gov/