Earth Saver Interview: Miquette Bishop

Miquette Bishop: Active mother, entrepreneur, and artist living in Saunderstown Rhode Island with her Husband Pete Zuerner,(a fine furniture maker http://www.zuernerdesign.com/) Her Three Girls Miranda age 17, Zoe age 8 and Molly age 4 , her Mother Yia-Yia age 69; and 2 Dogs, 4 cats, 1 love bird and several chickens, a rooster, and 1 bee hive with many bee’s.

Can be found on a Friday night: with a glass of wine in her hand hanging out with friends or family.

I called Miquette on the phone for this particular interview but visited with her last night and took the attached picture. I know Miquette well and have always been influenced and inspired by her deeply caring heart and nurturing ways. The woman is a mean gardener, ridiculously creative, relentlessly passionate about topics she believes in and can build anything with her own two hands including artwork, patios, decks, chicken coops, gardens, and can make any plot of land turn into an oasis of color, and beauty. Miquette formerly founded Miquette Online (an online resource and ecommerce site that was dedicated to organic clothing for babies and young children) and has her graduate degree in education from Sun bridge College in New York.

MR: “Miquette What does global warming mean to you?”

MQ: “It’s scares me to death because it’s a realization that the world is getting a little out of control and people need to calm down. It scares me that we are capable of huge devastation to our world ….and it’s all we have. I’m not sure people are acting consciously anymore. It frightens me because my parents did not prepare me for this stuff. I think our generation is very accustomed to disposable things and I don't think it's really hitting people that the world is not a disposable item that we can go out and get another one at Walmart when it's broken. I have a very very hard time even talking about it…I’d rather be in denial.”

(There is a heavy silence and a pregnant pause)   [more]

MQ: “Have you ever had Post Partum Depression?”

MR: “yes…with my first child….”

MQ: “ Well, It hit’s me like post partum depression if I start to really think about it….

I feel helpless, and tired, and overwhelmed…and I just want to lay down and go to sleep. I almost can’t know to much about global warming at once. I can’t go there for my own sanity’s sake. It’s really devastating to me”

MR: “Can you tell me more about that?”

MQ: “My fear is that there are not enough people in this world thinking about climate change and what it will mean for our children and I don’t want to go to that place where I think there is no hope.”

MR: “Are there places or people that give you hope and inspiration?”

MQ: Yes, I like to watch some uplifting film, Youtube – I think you can find some powerful content from people who are out there creating compelling and digestible videos to share with others. I also like www.moveon.org but even that can be too much for me to bear and I have to be selective about what I read”

MR: “Why is this – that you have to be selective?"

MQ: “I like to find the little loop holes where real information lives and I am selective of what I read because I don’t really trust mainstream media and newspapers to give me the news in a way that makes me feel empowered. There is too much devastation in the news, and for me to survive I have to find the loopholes in the media that keep my faith in humanity- the stories of what IS happening and the people who ARE making a difference.”

MR: Anything else?

MQ: “Well as much as I feel people are going too far in their consumerism and in quelling their huge appetite for “the American Dream” – I think they can go the opposite direction, and start to develop a consciousness that’s more considerate of their fellow man and of their planet, and this gives me hope. I know that there are wonderful people out there making a difference…I just want to see more of them and hear more about them.”

MR: Would it make you feel better to know that interviews like this would maybe help to inspire and motivate other parents?

MQ: “Yes, because I think there are many people in my situation- that feel overwhelmed, and lonely kind of with their thoughts about it. It’s certainly not something people want to greet each day talking about. It’s hard right now to know who to talk to because it’s a sensitive and upsetting topic.”

MR: “What does climate change mean when you think about your children…?”

MQ: “Oh Monica I can’t go there…. you are going to make me cry….. (she’s crying….)

(Huge sigh, her voice is strained…).

MQ: “It’s going to mean a life of survival for them.”

MR: “Do you really think it will get that bad?”

MQ: “Yes…I do. If we don’t do something, I can see that pollution will wreck havoc on their water, and their land, and will poison their food, and will eventually destroy the climate…”

MR: “So how do you deal with that today?”

MQ: “I think that as a parent part of my role right now is to bring them up in a way that I know they can take care of themselves. They know how to grow their own food, and tend a garden; reintroduce the techniques we have lost like living off your land and being self sufficient.

“It’s too big to think about sometimes and that’s the stuff I can’t deal with….You have to take one day at a time…for me. “I have to live in the moment in order to stay sane.”

“When I was a kid my mom used to tell me something that has really stuck with me.
She told me that God has this pie he makes every week and he gives you one piece every single day and you can’t have the piece you had yesterday, and you can’t have your piece that’s meant for tomorrow until it’s tomorrow…and weather you believe in God or not..it’s a lesson about being present to what we have today, and living in this moment, being conscious. I think if more people were conscious they would not “consciously” devastate the planet…- anyway…it’s this little story she told me that sticks with me, and I think about it when I get too overwhelmed”

MR: Miquette What would you say is your “little bit” that you do in the world to make a difference?

MQ: “Well…it feels very little” (laughter)
“Well, one thing I do every day is I teach my kids every day lessons of conservation and sustainability within our home. Having them understand how to garden, recycle etc… I do not let them in on my fears about the climate change because I don’t want to burden them…this is their childhood and as adults we need to fix it because we are the ones who broke it.” “It’s about teaching them now… activities that I think will really make a difference in their future. I also try to make a difference by looking at what other household practices we can adopt to lesson our carbon footprint.”

MR: “Like What?”

MQ: “We are looking into alternative energy right now and actively trying to get educated about wind powered energy. Each day is a new opportunity to learn something new about how we can live more consciously and create awareness in our children. Even simple things like conserving water when bathing ….tinfoil….I won’t throw it out now , I wash it and reuse it…my children do the same….we used to throw it away.”

MR: “What else?”

MQ: “We don’t use plastic bags at the grocery store – we use reusable bags and we keep them in our car. Tiny little bits of things…”

MR: “Is there a parting thought that you would care to leave based on the fact that you know a parent might read this?”

MQ: “The only thing I want to say is that it’s our children that causes everyone to really want to work together to make a difference. Our love for them is so motivating.” “I thank God that we are parents, and have been given the opportunity to have children in our lives, and we have to continue to support one another and be strong…we have to know that we are linked to every other parent around the world…and share a common bond…love for our children.”

“From one parent to another I feel like we are all joining hands with every parent around the world taking a deep breath – our collective consciousness around the world can be elevated if we do it together, and can make a huge difference….as long as people are willing to go there, and stop ignoring it as an issue, or waiting for someone else to make a difference.”

“One of the recent things I read talked about Christie Brinkley (a big star in her day) and her own fears …the poverty, food challenges and water supply issues makes her very scared and how it’s going to affect her children. It’s humbling to know that these same issues affect us…a common bond, and I can relate to her easily. It was so interesting to realize that she shares some of my fears ….that’s hope.” “Hope is we are not alone in this, and parents everywhere can make the difference”

More on Miquette:
I enjoy: sculpting, gardening, my family and children, my animals, researching on the internet, hanging out with friends. On Friday Night I can be found having a glass of wine…

Any typical Monday Morning I can be found: getting the kids off to school and saying goodbye to my husband . I love working on my land and Bee Keeping- just started that!

For more on Monica Rodgers, visit earthsavers.typepad.com

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