Here in Portland, Oregon, in January, the days are short, grey, and wet. More rain this year than last, my goodness. Rain almost every day and night.
In Australia the fires burn, and the forests go on soaring over the world.
In the Middle East, voices rise, and a woman on a farm outside Calgary feels the reverberations in her ribcage.
In Washington the middle school drama goes on, a good percentage of a nation’s electorate now immune to reason.
And here in this town a great blue heron glides over the freeways and rooftops. A few people stop and look, stunned by ancient truth.
I walk through wet afternoons and occasionally search other human faces. Shades of the blues in some. Humans steeped in headlines. Steeped in the sight of tulips pushing through January soil. A frowning old man sits in his idling pickup, reading a newspaper, while his frowning employee mows a lawn in the mist.
Yet there are the kids in a soccer class not giving up as they learn to juggle a ball with their feet. And the men and women running on a football field, chasing a frisbee, whooping as a stout guy launches himself into a diving catch. There’s the middle aged cyclist who cracks a half smile as she’s rounding a corner and sees you there with your swaggering big-eared dog.
Small planet, one galaxy. One galaxy among billions. And so many humans still believe that they exist outside of nature.
My goodness. This gorgeous, wounded world. This is our era. And these are our bodies, moving through these days and nights. These are our choices.
It does all seem a bit less clobbering, less relentless, when you’re out under the sky and moving in no rush. Time slows or shatters and you go on traveling over the earth’s surface, your attention for the most part here, now, and you know that you’ll probably miss the rain on your face, at least a little, when the days go dry and the fires begin, as the earth goes on hurtling around its star. You’ll miss the cool moist air in your lungs, and the damp streets, and the new beginnings right around the corner, so full of sweet mystery.