GLFCAM — Rain, unreal and biblical
Formerly pretty solitary when I was still a Bay Area urbanite, the reality of the climate crisis has had me creating more local community than I have ever done. That’s not necessarily comfortable for me but I think the crisis will only be effectively addressed en masse.
Yesterday, after almost a month of rain and floods here in California — unreal and biblical — Jeremy and I enjoyed several hours of very welcome sunshine. What struck us was how much life there was everywhere, a testament to how the earth wants to grow, to exist in health, to be a paradise even after the stresses humans have imposed on it. We found groves of matsutake mushrooms that are currently drying in front of our fireplace, and I fried up cat’s ear leaves (a bit like sweeter dandelion greens) for dinner. New yarrow, lavender, and Cleveland sage went into bedtime tea for little old lady me, and magenta and purple potatoes that had been washed out of their wine barrels by the storm are on the counter now, waiting to be baked. The ground has a spongy spring to it, no longer brittle and hard from our years-long drought. The dogs have been boinging around, no longer cooped up inside, loving all of the fresh smells and chasing insects.
That was yesterday. For most of the month before, as Jeremy was frantically diverting water flows on our Boonville property to minimize damage to our structures, including our new fire break pond, I was laid up with my first, and hopefully last, slipped disc. The timing couldn’t have been worse, to really see how out of shape I am when a couple hours of gardening put me in such straits. In these fires we’ve been suffering the past six years, the very young, the very old, and the disabled have been the ones to perish first; I had my first frightening glimpse of physical vulnerability as being able to evacuate quickly, to carry scared pets or precious belongings, to be mentally alert and not distracted by pain, is an imperative. I also felt much guilt that Jeremy, exhausted and covered in mud, had to help me out of bed, take care of meals, and scan the weather reports for lifts in the rain so he could drive whatever roads were precariously open to get me meds.
A scary powerful brain-chemistry-changing (!) muscle relaxant got me feeling better and I’ve been cautiously doing back exercises, with a view out my large studio windows to our valley, thinking: I want to be able to walk and run on that land, even if it’s burning or flooding, but hopefully, neither of those. I’ve since formed a small women’s group to walk several days a week, and I think we might even pump a little iron when our garage gym is complete. This is in addition to two neighborhood fire safety groups we belong to, an active local foods group, and of course, the local youth music program we’re trying to encourage through GLFCAM. Formerly pretty solitary when I was still a Bay Area urbanite, the reality of the climate crisis has had me creating more local community than I have ever done. That’s not necessarily comfortable for me but I think the crisis will only be effectively addressed en masse, including with our immediate neighbors.
I owe you music, but I’ve held your attention long enough and will send that along another time. Have a beautiful and safe week, all!