A lone goat crying in the wilderness, wild dreams, and smoke from countless wild fires across the West.
I awoke this morning to the frantic bleating of a lone goat. Somehow this sound fit into the dream I was having. This, and the smell of smoke from the multiple wildfires burning through out the western states. I confess I am weary of praying for relief. I am anxious and fretful and no matter what needful activity I focus on, underlying it is the fact that forests are going up in smoke. Conversations mention ” hundreds of square miles” of burns. 14,000 fires this year alone. I don’t know if this is a fact or not. My mind tries to wrap around this and calculate the amount of trees. I have a sudden urge to plant trees. And hemp. We need to plant hemp while we wait for trees to return. Thoughts swing to the current election dog and pony show that I truly wish was actually about dogs and ponies instead of arrogant, boastful “swinging dicks” with PAC money flowing from who knows where.
What would Ed Abbey do?
A sip of coffee. My coffee is good this morning. I can change the topic…move on to something sweet and light, but the angle of the sun through the smoke makes me feel like jumping and running, much like that poor goat tethered somewhere down at the ranch below us. In my dark memories tethered goats mean a slaughter is about to occur. Impending goat roasts under the smoke and haze of apocalyptic summer skies. People dishing up potato salads and talking about everything…anything…but what we really need to be doing. We will content ourselves with harvests and preserving as acts of preservation, but the causative factor, the fossil fuel that runs the tractors and rototillers and every other damn thing is killing off life as we’ve known it. And yes, I am harping on this issue again because it hasn’t been resolved and isn’t going to be until the WE of us finds a way to deal with it in mass.
I have a friend who believes that an alien race is coming here to save some of us. That would be cool, but I don’t want another planet. I want this one. I’ve grown very fond of what life has created here. I’m not too keen on what mankind has done. Yes, we are impressive in many ways, but stupid, too. Plain stupid. I count myself in this category, as well. I am in the last big chapter of my life, I figure. The first few chapters are about crazy parents, afraid and poor, and angry, and how I tried to overcome my upbringing, and then I gave birth and tried my hand at parenting. It was tough to be different and not give my daughter the grief bestowed on me and my various siblings. She says I did a good job, but I’m not so sure. Now, she is carrying a child, and the rumblings of parenthood are hanging heavy on her. What ought to be joyful time of life is instead a rigorous grind of hard work for little pay in her current profession, and the knowledge that the world is not the legacy she had hoped for as a child.
So, if it comes down to what actions to take today that would lead to the world I want for my grandchild, here are a few of my options for today. I can pick peaches, or can pickles, or move the chicken pen and make new nest boxes. I can tear up the old carpet in the master bath, or go to my daughter’s house and start on HER floor. I could cut out the willows that are trying to overtake the garden spot down by the mail box, or I can find another rototiller to wear out. I could go feed the broody chicken again. (I am hand feeding her because she was sitting on one lonely un-fertile egg for a week before I realized what she was doing and then gave her 6 fertile eggs to take care of. I don’t want her to be disappointed.) What I would really like to do is take preemptive strikes of anti-inflammatory and hike down Chukar Trail to admire the smooth eon polished stones along the Gunnison River Gorge. But that would involve driving the truck and using fossil fuel. Sigh.
I look up through the smoke to the blue sky beyond. The sky is still blue in spite of the smoke. Perhaps, just for today, I will focus on the blue of the sky rather than the haze, and count myself fortunate and blessed to be living in this time of dire and magnificent beauty. From that place, I can begin again, to create the world I am hoping to leave to the generations coming along behind me.