It is so windy and warm (yesterday it was 77– which feels like 97 here where we aren’t used to such heat) that there is a warning for extreme fire danger, and a total burn ban. No campfires on the beach even. It is also so dry that I’m rationing my well water and in town now the borough water department has banned any kind of outside watering from lawns to flowers and car washing and urging indoor conservation methods, like short showers. And this is happening in a rainforest.The last few nights we have almost had thunder and lightening (very rare) and the wind has whipped up, clouds rolled in, and in parts of the valley there was sudden, heavy rain, but not at our house. My neighbors said the weather reminds them of Colorado, where they used to live.
This morning I decided not to read the news first thing. Everything in it makes me angry. Instead, I picked up a book and randomly opened a page and read, “Modern communications load us with more problems than the human frame can carry… my heart cannot implement in action the demands of all the people to whom my heart responds.”
“Yes!” I said out loud. “Exactly,” and then to my coffee sipping husband, “Chip, listen to this…”
More remarkable than finding that sentence now, is that it was written in 1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh in Gift From the Sea, back before Facebook and Twitter and 24/7 news on tiny phones in our pockets. Her solution to changing the world for the better by improving one dark mood at a time, was the same one I keep returning to, with a little tweak. She advocates for living in the present, paying attention to the places we love and the people we interact with, caring for it -and them– purposefully, intentionally– the theory being that the love and goodness we share will flow out from this heart-filled center. I believe that’s true. I hold on tight to that faith. But I’m still ticked at the powers-that-be who lack all compassion and courage — so before I return to my family, community, backyard and yes, water my basil and tomatoes and geraniums gently, carefully, mindfully– I’ll send a few more emails to congress and the Alaska legislature. Just in case someone might listen and act rightly. Then I’ll call my dad, and visit a friend in assisted living. See what the grandchildren are up to. Ride my bike instead of drive the car to town, and later, when it’s too hot for anything else, take the dogs to the beach and read the rest of that lovely little book, again.