Oh for gawd's sake, eh? The world is falling apart, or so it seems. Although it is November, so my perceptions are probably a little off.
When life gets dark, a walk outside always helps. And if you can do that, if you can get out in a place not overcome with smog and pavement, that can be enough to shake you out of a downward spiral. Soon enough if you are lucky, all bad and Trump related thoughts will be left behind, because: behold the air is fresh and look there, something green is growing.
Today I heard on the Canadian national news that in North Carolina someone has decked out a weed, that is growing out of a traffic cone, in Christmas decorations. This made the Canadian NATIONAL news.
Personally, I've always been the sort of person to stop and marvel when Mother Nature defies human intervention and decides to push through concrete for example. I sigh with relief when I see that on a city street. 'Ah,' I think, 'maybe we shan't ruin the whole bloody planet if that small flower can manage in a wee spot like that.'
So I get where this Traffic-Cone-Weed-Decorator is coming from. They saw a little light in this dark time and thought they'd build on it. This news is delivered in the same breath as Trump lifting a ban on hunters bringing home trophy animal parts. The sacred and the profane, served up side by side.
Look at this photo of my dog!
See I just did the same thing. I was talking about something dark and then I distracted you with my cute dog.
If you are thinking, 'Hey Crocker, that is not November light your dog is basking in,' you'd be correct. That photo was taken in the summer. Now that we're in deepest darkest November, he's taken off the shades.
I'm just messing with you. Or am I?
In the 1990s, I worked in wilderness conservation and I worked with some intense, passionate people. One of those people was Randy Stoltmann. Randy wrote several books before his untimely death in 1994. In Written on the Wind he reminds us to:
Hike the forests, climb the peaks, ski the icefields, walk the beaches, canoe and kayak the rivers, lakes and seashore. Or just lie in a meadow, breathe the clear air and renew yourself. Stop. Think. Listen. Hear the roaring vastness of a great valley or the sigh of wind in the treetops, or the eternal thunder of breakers on the shore. Then go back and speak to the world from your heart.
I think of Randy's words often, but I don't act on them as much as I should. But when I do, when I get outside, I always feel better.
I know those passionate activists I used to work with didn't always get outside enough. There were a lot of sparks flying in those staff meetings. When I say 'sparks' I mean punches. There were also arguments over who was the most committed or in some cases who could pronounce place names correctly. When we were all still struggling with how to say 'Tatshenshini' one veteran reminded a particularly holier-than-thou colleague that when we first started campaigning on Clayoquot (pronounced cla-quot) there were plenty of people wandering around the office saying 'clay-o-quot! clay-o-quot!'
Too much time in the office, not enough time outside.
Yesterday morning I drove out to a beach I'd never walked before with Bixby. He was very happy about the new smells. There was an interesting crop of seaweed that had been delivered on the last tide that the crows were excited about. It was cold. The air was salty. I spotted a loon. A grey cloud followed us. The rain held off. It wasn't a lot but it was enough.
I could also write, it was so much I could hardly stand it.