Thursday, 21 June 2012

Dancing in the rain?

I passed a shop this morning that had a little wooden plaque in the window that read ' Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain.' This seemed particularly fitting as it was pouring down at the time. And on Midsummer's Day too.

But I am hoping to dance in the rain tonight. My daughter and I are going to watch two internationally famous orchestras performing in the open air, beneath the dramatic backdrop of Stirling Castle. Both are made up of people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Many of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra's members come from the favelas of Venezuela, while Big Noise's are children from a less-glamorous part of Stirling, know as Raploch. Yet thousands of people are going to watch them; the performance is going to be broadcast live by Radio 4; and there have already be rave reviews of their work. www.makeabignoise.org.uk

These orchestras have achieved what many would have thought was impossible. They inspire people to look beyond the barriers of their birth, life experiences and expectations, and become part of something extraordinary and life-changing. And they are the fruit of three things - vision, determination, and of course, enough money to make them happen.

If all this can be achieved with, and for music, is it not just possible that we could do something similar for the environment? The musicians in these orchestras have certainly learnt to dance through the rain of their own difficult lives. Instead of hoping that the storm of our environmental crisis will pass (which of course it won't), instead of sitting back and saying that it's impossible to change western society's greed and short-termism, could we not find a way to help everyone - from politicians to polluters, consumers to conservationists - to dance to rhythm of the natural world.

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