When I think of the weather lately — hard not to do when the reality behind and forecast ahead is triple-digit days up one side and down the other — I feel despair about climate change. How much is happening. How fast it’s occurring. How little we as a culture, nation, world have had the common sense and fortitude to do to lessen its effects (and I’m not even touching the thousands who equate this crisis to some kind of political maneuver, not believing reality is reality).
This morning, I sit in dappled sun and shade on the back deck at a time when, even on a warm summer day. The brome fields are bleached blond, the corn beyond our land is dying or dead, and turkeys in the distance continue to hover in the shade of the big cedars. And this is just the middle of summer with much more dying on the hoof.
At the same time, I realize how fortunate I am along with most of my community to be relatively comfortable. We drive and sleep in air-conditioning. We have lots of clean water to drink. We’re well-fed (sometimes too much so) compared to much of the world, and we have ample pockets of shade, distractions in front of screens big and small to keep ourselves rolling through the heat until it dissipates. I send my prayers out to people without such supports and survival tools.
Meanwhile, despite the temperature making its quick leap to 100 today, 107 on Sunday and not wandering below highs in the 100s for the foreseeable future, there is still this moment in the middle of the climate crisis: I’ve moved my chair to the shade, cottonwood leaves shake in the wind, and birdsong comes from all directions. The sky is irrepressibly blue, the cicadas have begun their long hum, and grasshoppers are buzzing as they fly across the grass. A black butterfly with brown-tipped wings floats past, and my itunes is suddenly playing “Some Enchanted Evening.”
In the middle of the beginning of this crisis, the world is still enchanted because that’s what the life force does, even when parts of it are dying.