Energy Independence on Foot

Parish Diary

Fr. Peter Daly

May 9, 2006


††††††††††† I know where we can find a huge source of clean and renewable energy, which will lessen our dependence on foreign oil. It is under our belts.

††††††††††† Like squirrels preparing for winter, Americans have been prudently storing up energy around their midsections for years. You might say that we are the Saudi Arabia of fat. We are the OPEC of flab. No more delay. It is time to exploit this readily available source of energy.

††††††††††† I certainly have done my part to store to get ready for this energy crisis. Like a bear preparing for hibernation I have added twenty-five pounds to my waste line over the last 20 years.

††††††††††† With gas prices over $3 per gallon, I have every incentive to burn off my energy supply by walking it off.

††††††††††† I am working toward compliance with a ten minute, nice day rule. If I can walk there in ten minutes and it is a nice day, I will walk, not drive.

††††††††††† There are many times during the week when I might otherwise drive. A ten minute rule might not seem like much, but it will cut out a lot of short hops in the car to the bank, the post office and local stores. I have a shopping center only five blocks away. There is no reason not to walk.

††††††††††† Not only will this save energy, it will have great health, environmental and spiritual benefits as well.

††††††††††† By walking to the post office or the store, I can save a few sips of gas each trip. I will also burn off a few calories. I will make good use of the gifts of banana bread and cookies that parishioners give to Father for his energy supply. After all, I like to eat and I hate to waste. We can bake and eat our way to independence from foreign oil.

††††††††††† The environmental will be better with a ten minute walking rule. There will be less air pollution and less ruined landscape from oil drilling.

††††††††††† Spiritually it will slow me down so I say hello to my neighbors. It will make me appreciate the changes in seasons. I will notice the beauty of Godís creation more. It will make me a better steward of Godís gifts by taking better care of my body and His earth.

††††††††††† There are literally billions of gallons of gas stored in plain sight right around our tummies. We donít need to wait for hybrid cars or alternative fuel sources. The only expenditure will be shoe leather.

††††††††††† Our communities will need a few changes. If your area is like mine, we should be building as more sidewalks than roadways.

††††††††††† In rural and suburban areas across America there are very few safe places to walk. Sidewalks stop and start with no apparent reason. They end in the most inconvenient places. Pedestrians are dumped out into the traffic at dangerous intersections.

††††††††††† In my little town you cannot walk the three miles from the hospital to the court house on a sidewalk. Sometimes you have to walk along the shoulder of a four lane highway. In most of America, our new subdivisions have beautiful roads for cars but no sidewalks for people.

††††††††††† Our parish is thinking of creating a ďsafe walkĒ around our property. Once around our land is a half-mile. It is a great place to bicycle or walk.

††††††††††† The ten minute rule could be our energy salvation. We could walk our way to energy independence. Your nation, your body, and your soul will thank you.