It’s so hard not to be discouraged. We’ve just experienced the hottest July ever, since records have been kept… and probably in the last 4,000 years. Even Ranger gets winded after playing in the yard. I head out to my preferred walk on the Celery Fields as early as I can see each morning, and I’m still dripping wet by the time I finish. Yesterday I witnessed a county commissioner meeting where they decided that hunting would be permitted in the county park system. It felt like the heavy hand of privilege (commissioners are all hunters and clearly privileged) had struck at nature again. That decision echoes what the Florida Wildlife Commission decided recently when they instituted a bear hunt on state lands. I just learned that a huge Arctic glacier has calved a significant chunk the size of Manhattan. The “Chasing Ice” project filmed this. Ranger and I sat here at the computer and watched in disbelief.
Yet my air conditioning hums along. I am cool in my car. The parking lot at the mall is packed by early afternoon most days. Presidential candidates talk about job creation.
Ranger: “Focus on the places and events that provide breathing room for you, even though you are holding your breath at the catastrophes you see happening in the world.”
Me: “Many days I feel I have lost the stamina to stay in this hard place of transformation.”
Ranger: “My question for you: what choice do you have? These are the times you need eye contact with nature, disconnect from the craziness and find the joy of being in an unplugged world.”
And so we have eye contact, the two of us. He is steady, never looking away unless he is called by Darryl. I return to a position of hope and love, knowing that this is all I can do, all I am called to do.