tree sitMonkton Vermont (sometimes referred to as “the middle of nowhere”) is a small rural town in the foothills of the Green Mountains.  Life is usually quite predictable and uneventful here in Monkton, but these days a drama is unfolding right in our midst and at least some of us are pretty darn proud.

Half a mile from the ToDo Institute a young woman named Addie sits in a tree, on a platform 30’ above ground.  She has been in this tree for ten days now, day and night, rain and shine, by herself, throwing a monkey wrench into the works of Vermont Gas Company, the installers of a pipeline that will carry fracked gas from Canada right through the yards and gardens of Monkton, on its way to Middlebury.

Aside from being half a mile away, what does this tree-sit have to do with the ToDo Institute?  We’re not a training center for civil disobedience or an environmentalist center.  But we are a training center that supports thoughtful, purposeful action in the world, and awareness of the interdependent nature of our lives.

And that’s the spirit that Addie demonstrates, as she sits alone in the tree.  She is doing what she can do, not just for her benefit but for the sake of the planet and those who will follow behind.  Her efforts may not ultimately prevent the pipeline but they are delaying the process, bringing attention to the issue and showing us what courage and conviction look like.   She is not doing nothing.  She is doing something.  She is doing what she can control and giving it all she’s got.

Of course Addie is part of a large network of local activists and supporters who are providing the infrastructure, so to speak.  So bravo, Addie Herbert, and the others who have taken a stand and fought this pipeline, who have devoted countless hours learning about the issues, attending hearings and rallies, and doing whatever they can to influence the course of events.

May we all demonstrate such heart when the opportunity arises.  May we be willing to go beyond our own convenience and comfort, if that is what is called for, to take purposeful action in the world.  May we inspire each other as we take the next step, even if the outcome is in suspense, even if the odds are against us, because we believe it is the right thing to do.



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  1. Carole Serling 7 years ago

    Dear Linda,
    I am disappointed to see your post today, as I prefer that political musings and partisan positions not become a part of your messages. But since you’ve gone there, I feel I can ask you to get educated to opposing views; here is a link to a number of excellent 5-minutes videos which rebut what I view as the prevailing left wing propaganda about many aspects of energy production and consumption in America and the world today.
    Additionally, you might want to go online and find a way to view the documentary movie, “Fracknation”, which is an answer to the anti-fracking movie out some years ago called “Gasland”.
    Carole Serling

    • Heather 7 years ago

      Interesting . . . I did not read Linda’s article as being political. How does PROTECTING THE ONE EARTH THAT WE ALL INHABIT benefit or discriminate against one political persuasion or another? Let’s keep this simple.

    • Author
      Linda Anderson Krech 7 years ago

      Thank you for your comment, Carole. We always appreciate hearing from our members and learning about their perspectives.

      The impetus for my essay came more from my admiration for those who act on their convictions, than from my opposition to the pipeline. It is the willingness to take a stand based on what we believe is right that inspires me, especially when doing so involves significant time, effort and inconvenience (as long as those efforts are made peacefully). This particular act of civil disobedience was right in our backyard, so to speak, for fourteen days. As I listened to rain on our roof during the night or woke up to a covering of snow in the morning, I was inspired by the commitment that was being demonstrated. Controlling what we can control, even if the odds are against us, is inspiring to me. Thanks again for your feedback (and for reading our ezine)!


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