Yesterday we could see a smudge of smoke along the horizon to the south, but the air on shore was relatively clear and fresh, and we went to the beach for a walk at low tide. It wasn’t just low tide, either…it was negative tide. We walked out to where the ocean usually is, at one point standing at one of Monte’s regular surf spots, and I looked back and saw the land as he sees it from his board. Beneath our feet were ridges of slippery exposed rock, soft wet sand encircling tide pools, and, as you can see in the picture above, lush beds of emerald green grass. Such beds of seagrass serve crucial functions in the ecosystem: they stabilize the sea bottom and provide food and habitat for other marine organisms. But to me, they were simply poetry as they rippled in the shallow water like mermaids’ hair, and the very greenness of them, in our rain-starved brittle fire-prone world, was utterly delicious.
The fire has cast its pall on everything these past two weeks, and we are all crazy around here, more so than usual. Even for those of us whose homes have not been threatened by flames, it’s impossible not to feel anxious and sad. The air has been dangerously bad, businesses have suffered during what is usually one of their busiest seasons, and many events have been cancelled. It may be nearly Christmas, but no one feels like celebrating. Firefighters have just had two “productive” days, and last I heart, containment was at 45%, but the wind is expected to kick up again tomorrow. It’s far from over.
Add to this the desperate shoving through by the GOP of an historic redistribution of wealth from the working and middle classes to the rich and corporations. It’s happening right now, in real time. They figure they can make up some of the resulting deficit by cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security a little further down the line. The oligarchs will take from the most vulnerable in order to aggrandize their own wealth and power. And if that’s not enough to make you angry, depressed, and disillusioned, there are plenty of other disheartening facts we can examine, but my big hope now is that the American people will vote them all out in 2018 and we can begin to mend the damage and move forward. There’s gotta be power in all of this rage.
But I started out talking about nicer things, and that’s how I’m going to end. There has been good air and low tides, and there may even be a droplet of moisture in the air tonight. The moon, meanwhile, is a sliver of a crescent, waxing, and winter solstice is drawing near, and after that the days will lengthen, and there is that green-green seagrass rippling in the ocean and seeds of green waiting to erupt in the hills. And let’s hope we are soon singing in the rain and celebrating life and appreciating everything, including one another, more than ever.