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After Ida

Departing clouds.  (This morning.)

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

Early bird.

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.

How it started yesterday.

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.

First warning.

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.

When the skies were darkening yesterday.

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.

Early morning at the edge of the garden.

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.

Looking up in the woods this morning.

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.

View from the dock.

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

Sit by the water.  Take a few deep breaths.  Let the fresh air in.

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.

Loving the blues today.

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.

Cooling off on a hot and humid day. Most of the herd have been taking dips in the pond during the worst of the heat we had over the past week.

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.

Taking a stroll through the water.

Author:

Robin is...

14 thoughts on “After Ida

  1. “I’m exhausted from living in interesting times.” Amen to that, sister. I’m tired of the years of nonsense reported as ‘news.’ The only peace I get is walking our trails. Thank god for those!
    It was wonderful to wake up today to a true-blue sky, no haze, a cool breeze and everything smelling fresh. It feels like ages since we have had such weather. More, please!
    Have a great weekend, stay away from the touristy beaches! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Eliza. 🙂 I don’t go anywhere near the beaches on holiday weekends. I think I spend more time there off-season than I do during the summer. It’s gotten worse since the pandemic, now that everyone wants to be outdoors. It feels like that should be a good thing, but there are a lot of downsides to it, as well. Some of those who have newly discovered the great outdoors don’t know how to behave in the great outdoors. They need to revive “Leave No Trace.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am surprised that Ida was harder to the East than the non-coastal South. I thought she would lose more power as she moved onward.

    The description of the swan touched me. I often pray for the dead deer I see by the side of the road. The loss of something beautiful haunts me as does the senselessness. I Iike the idea of carrying flower petals.

    Beautiful images, but I am partial to the heron.

    I am so exhausted. We all are.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m with you with the being exhausted from living in interesting times.
    I’m glad you weren’t affected by the tornados. I just heard there were 7 confirmed tornados in the Philadelphia-South Jersey region. Two nearby towns suffered damage, and I’m sure you’ve seen that much of Philadelphia is flooded.
    I am pleased with this cool, dry weather though that we should have for a few days now.
    If you read Heather Cox Richardson’s e-mails or listen to her, she’s talked a lot about the Movement Conservatives, and her newsletter today also covered the manipulation of abortion to elect Republicans–actually with Nixon before Roe v. Wade.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am also exhausted by these times. To repeat what I commented on Laura’s post (Riddle From the Middle) this morning – it is beyond me how a society that has so many people ranting that wearing a mask and/or getting vaccinated is an infringement of their freedoms can seem to be so complacent about the new abortion law in Texas, as well as the new voting laws that are sweeping across far too many southern states. How is it that they don’t see that these are truly infringements on freedoms? This society has been worrying me for some time, but now it is making me fearful for our future.

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  5. I’ll add my voice to the exhausted list. Holy cats. Hard to focus on Book 4, that’s for sure. This post has so much food for thought, as your posts always do. I will be checking out Third Act. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Also, very glad Ida swept by you without much damage. By the time Ida glanced by Maine, she had completely fizzled out. I must say I’m glad our New York City daughter is staying with us.

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  6. Exhausted here too. I’m glad you didn’t have damage though I’m sorry about the shrimp and swan. I will check out ThirdAct. Katie and I are sleeping in the backyard tonight, it’s finally cool enough for her.

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  7. Thanks for the info on Third Act. I passed it on to my sister, too. I hope businesses will boycott Texas the way they boycotted North Carolina over not allowing people to use the restroom of their gender identity… We got 5 inches from Ida but no flooding in our neighborhood. Some parts of Connecticut got 8 inches! Beautiful pictures, as always, Robin.

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  8. Thanks for the Ida update, Robin — glad y’all weathered the storm safely! I usually say a prayer over senselessly dead animals I find lying about; however, I like your idea of leaving a few flower petals, too. Every living things should be mourned at its passing.

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  9. Hi Robin! It is so nice to read about your neck of the woods, your thoughts, to see your beautiful pictures. I can’t believe you saw a dead swan. Have you ever seen one before? That feels so sad–and so sacred at the same time. Bringing offerings to nature seems like a precious way of honoring the spirits in nature that present themselves. As for living in “interesting times” it does take a certain fortitude and plenty of compassion to make it through!

    Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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