Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Bee hope For Detroit

Detriot is a city I associate with those icon cars of the 60's,70's .I knew that the car industry has declined in Detroit like it has in Britain and Europe as the cheaper cost of labour land, tax cost and resources of Asia beckons the Global Companies.  but the image of 40 square miles of dereliction  seemed too vast to comprehend. The City is struggling to re-invent itself as other Cities in America and Europe are needing to do.. 

This part of a poem  by Alex called "silence".    She posted  it on Cowbird  and it was a powerful  poem in which this stanza stood out in particular for me.

 I don't know what to write about
when  there is serious talk now about
dissolving the city of Detroit, 
bulldozing it back into pre-history
into a primordial swamp. Detroit?

The changes that have occurred in Detroit has devastated many lives.  As livelihoods, neighbourhoods have been destroyed by the closure of mile and mile of car manufacturing companies.  The pain for so many people cannot be imagined.  An image of an 87 year old woman living in the the last house standing in her neighbourhood is terrible  one. She wants to move but no-one will buy her house so she left amongst the bulldoze rubble of her neighbours houses.

The images of East Detroit is like an alien landscapes as the derelict car plants and building crumble and decay.  I can understand Alex's despair and horror. However there is hope

 Nature has already started on the task of renewing the abandoned factories.  Look at the picture above cotton trees are growing through the foundations and grasses, shrubs and weeds are taking back the land.  In 1920 Detroit east side was farmland and now piece by piece, inch by 1 dollar inch new farmers, small holders, nurseries are wrestling back the land to  fertile productive food cultivations.  Neighbourhoods are creating allotments and growing their own food. People are growing food on their Balconies.  

Change is the only certainty in is this life of ours.  Detroit has been devastated by the recession but the seeds of the new resurgence are there. My friend Sue who is moving near to Detroit wrote when I asked:

Is Detroit going to bulldozed?

Eastern Market Detroit food hub
Not sure.  There's been talk about "Urban Farms" and tearing down some of the run down buildings.  The areas or cities around it are beautiful like Royal Oak where 3 of the kids live, Ferndale, Birkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills (were Dean lives) and Rochester Hills were we'll be.   I'll keep you posted.  We're going there this coming weekend.
Detroit has a beautiful "Fox" Theatre which my mom thought should have been called the Tashj.  Inside is so amazing.  There's a great farmers market called Eastern Market and Greek Town, Mexican Town, Irish Town etc.  some really great spots amid the bigger pockets of decay.    
And Mary wrote

Times change and this just might be a change for the future.  I can recall was Boston was a dying city - it was grey and grim.  Then Mayor White came along and really changed the whole city, including demolishing whole areas, re-routing streets, putting up new buildings and shopping areas, and revitalizing historic areas.  Today it is known as Government Center and Quincy Market and, no matter when you go there, there is a crowd of sight seeing individuals and shoppers.  Also, the big dig came along and another part of Boston has had a face-lift.  So, based on what happened in Boston, and continues, I think the Detroit idea of urban farming is a good, healthy thing for the city to do.
urban farm

So perhaps Detroit will not sink back into the primordial swamp but become a food producing hub for the urban areas around. There is vitality still there but also at the present time pain and devastation. But the farms are bringing in the pollinating insects, butterflies, hover-flies, bees and they are bringing on their wings hope and renewal to Detroit.

Detroit farmer 
urban allottment

With Reiki blessings
And healing for all those broken by change