In reality there is a single integral community of the Earth that includes all its component members whether human or other than human. In this community every being has its own role to fulfill, its own dignity, its inner spontaneity. Every being has its own voice. Every being declares itself to the entire universe. Every being enters into communion with other beings. This capacity for relatedness, for presence to other beings, for spontaneity in action, is a capacity possessed by every mode of being throughout the entire universe.
~ Thomas Berry
Attention is the doorway to gratitude, the doorway to wonder, the doorway to reciprocity.
~ Robin Wall Kimmerer
Well, Ida stirred up quite a storm, didn’t she? We were fortunate here. Ida was slow to arrive and when she did arrive, she was combined with a cold front. The heat and humidity (the unstable atmosphere) helped the combination kick up some tornadoes and quite a few warnings, but here on the ranch, all is well. Sometime in the late afternoon there was said to be a tornado nearby. We didn’t see it and there have been no reports of any damage nearby other than a few downed trees in places where they didn’t damage anything else. There was a well-documented (on video) tornado up in Hurlock which is about 50 miles north of us.
I haven’t had a chance to speak with family yet, up in New Jersey. I do know Ida was spawning tornadoes up that way, and one family member in Pennsylvania sent a photo of the flooding in her basement. We didn’t get a lot of rain (a little over an inch according to our trusty rain gauge) or wind. There was some bluster and quite a bit of thunder and lightning overnight. I think that’s when the bulk of the rain must have arrived, too.
Now we watch for Larry, to see what he’s going to do. It’s too soon to tell which way he’ll go. Away, I hope. Far, far away where he does no damage at all.
We woke up to clearing skies and wonderfully cool temperatures. The air is drier, too. The humidity for the past week or so has been in what our local weather guy calls the Insta-Sweat category. M described it as being so wet that it feels like it’s raining even when it’s not. No matter how you describe it, it was miserable.
I was able to get out for a walk this morning without being swarmed by mosquitoes (they must have gotten swept out with the storms) and without feeling as if I’m breathing in liquid air. It was lovely to feel those hints of autumn, to smell the freshened air, and to be able to take my time in the woods, out at the dock, and by the gardens.
The paths through the woods look as though they were flooded overnight, water swirling through in a way that moved things around. Out at the dock I found a dead shrimp (lying there, on the dock) which was weird. I didn’t think we could find shrimp around here. Maybe Ida brought it up from Louisiana. I also found a dead swan, curled up, her head almost under one wing, looking as though she’s sleeping. I said a little prayer or whatever you’d like to call it to honor their spirits. As I mentioned on IG this morning, I’m going to start carrying flowers, flower petals, or something to leave as offerings. It doesn’t feel right to me to just walk on by and not do something to acknowledge my fellow beings who have passed on from this life.
I’m going to use today to rest and spend some time outdoors. I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted from living in interesting times. I wouldn’t mind if it was less- or not-interesting for a while. A good, long while. Every day, it seems, there is something else (the American Taliban state of Texas is the most recent example and it’s scary to see so many in Conspiracy and White-Supremacy World think a version of Sharia Law, that locks women in their homes and takes away all their rights so they can be child bearers as the “good Lord intended”, would be a good thing to establish in this country). For the record, I am not pro-abortion. I am pro-choice, pro-it’s-a-woman’s-decision-what-to-do-with-her-body. Isn’t it strange how the “my body, my choice” people who are protesting vaccines and wearing masks don’t believe in “my body, my choice” when it comes to other choices and medical decisions?
After that preacher told me to quit thinking, I began thinking harder. I did my research. Turns out, the memo he was trying to pass me—“A good Christian bases her faith on disapproving of gays and abortion”—started being issued only forty years ago. In the 1970s, a few rich, powerful, white, (outwardly) straight men got worried about losing their right to continue racially segregating their private Christian schools and maintaining their tax-exempt status. Those men began to feel their money and power being threatened by the civil rights movement. In order to regain control, they needed to identify an issue that would be emotional and galvanizing enough to unite and politically activate their evangelical followers for the first time. They decided to focus on abortion. Before then—a full six years after the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision—the prevailing evangelical position was that life began with the baby’s first breath, at birth. Most evangelical leaders had been indifferent to the Court’s decision in Roe, and some were cited as supporting the ruling. Not anymore. They wrote a new memo using freshly feigned outrage and rhetoric calling for “a holy war…to lead the nation back to the moral stance that made America great.” They sponsored a meeting of 15,000 pastors—called The Religious Roundtable—to train pastors on how to convince their congregations to vote for antichoice, antigay candidates. This is how they disseminated the memo down to evangelical ministers, who passed it down to pews across America. The memo read, To be aligned with Jesus, to have family values, to be moral, one must be against abortion and gay people and vote for the candidate that is antiabortion and antigay.
Ronald Reagan-who, as governor of California had signed into law one of the most liberal abortion laws in the country-began using language from the new memo. Evangelicals threw their weight behind him and voted in a bloc for the first time to elect him President. The Religious Right was born. The face of the movement was the ‘pro-life and pro-family values’ stance of millions, but the blood running through the movement’s veins was the racism and greed of a few.
~ Glennon Doyle, Untamed
Before I forget, there is a new organization forming for us older folks. It’s called Third Act. They are trying to gather the elders together to help build a movement “strong enough to matter” when it comes to issues such as climate change, racial and economic justice, and voting rights. Please check them out at ThirdAct.org. They haven’t launched yet, but you can sign up for their newsletter. A video on the website encouraging people to join includes some wise words from Robin Wall Kimmerer, Jane Fonda, and more. Check it out, please. Thank you.
Thank you so very much for visiting with me today. I hope you weren’t in the path of any destructive storms such as Ida but if you were, my thoughts are with you. Let’s meet out at the Point for sunset this evening. I’m sure it will be quite nice out there. Sunset is scheduled for 7:30 PM. I’ll be there early, just to enjoy the cooler weather and the view.
Please be well, be safe, and keep being kind.
A few of the 10,000 reasons to be happy: 1,861) The color blue as it’s reflected in the sky and water today. 1,862) The beings we share this land with and their increasing trust in us. I’m not sure that’s entirely a good thing. Not all humans come in peace. 1,863) Finding the people who are trying to do good in this world. Keep looking. They are out there. 1,864) M, always, always. 1,865) Weathering the storms. We’ve been very lucky and I keep that in mind. I am grateful that we’ve been so lucky.