The sails gently pulled us along under sunny Caribbean skies. The piercing blue of the ocean was almost indistinguishable from the heavens above.
Always one to be absolutely in the moment, Jim nevertheless took nothing for granted.
“June, too soon,” he laughingly told me. “July, stand by.”
I looked quizzically at him.
He continued, “August, I must. September, remember.” He finished with, “October, it’s over.”
“What’s that all about?” I asked.
“Hurricanes. As gorgeous as this day is, we still have to think about where we’re heading. When hurricane season hits, we want to be sure of a safe harbor.”
Jim’s words in the drabble above are a rendition of the old sailor’s adage regarding hurricanes. Apparently, it is based on the “Mariner’s Poem on Hurricanes,” found in the book Weather Lore by Richard Inwards, 1898, which goes:
June too soon. July standby. August look out you must. September remember. October all over.
The early morning rain sings softly to me. Like a lullaby, it calls me back toward dreamtime, pulling me there with its whispery voice.
The rain suggests a pause, a delay to the usual commencement of ‘getting things done.’ It reminds me to let go. It reminds me some things are beyond my control, so just let go.
It is a knowing letting go, an almost rueful letting go that must suddenly remember and admit, after all, what matters.
The susurrus of the rain cradles me in a hallowed space with all the gentle attentions of a doting parent. I am soothed by this quiet listen to the earth, sky, and air that are my home, suffused with the glow of love and trust found there.
protected by the throng of spring’s urgent leaves and wayward branches the scent of the lilacs surrounding us we two almost surprised to be alone under the moon’s knowing eye
I climb into the swing my long hair trailing as I lean way back thrusting my feet forward abandoned to the air laughing softly in the dark
the swing slows you stand in front of me smiling coming near taking hold of my hands on the ropes as I come, shivering, to my feet
you press close until we lean together into the swing holding us my breath shallow feeling all the rush and tumble of me of this first kiss intoxicating in the lilacs’ embrace awash in the mystic moonlight of the orb’s fond gaze
Many thanks to Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda at Go Dog Go Cafe for the inspiration of today’s writing prompt “mystic moonlight.”
Some days I wake up scared. I wake up not having a clue what’s going to happen next. Or worse, maybe I do. Everything feels a little out of control like I need to hold onto something.
Seems like things come out of left field almost every day now and it’s hard to process. Everyone I meet feels the same way. We are just holding onto our various pieces of flotsam while these giant waves carry us along. We look at each other behind our masks from our six-foot stations imprinted on the floor with the question in our eyes where are we going?
The sun comes up and I listen to the birds singing it’s as if everything is normal but I know it’s not. Maybe for the first time ever I find myself fearing for our fundamental freedom as human beings on this earth and I wonder how to fight for that. I fear the actions of our species far more than what nature may bring. But fear is how it all works isn’t it? And we are going mach 5.
I have to make myself stop and listen awhile to what’s true and beautiful outside my window in the trees in the sky in the air in my soul and then I am not scared but my heart still rends for what is happening.
It doesn’t make me feel safe to be masked to be distanced to be tracked to be left to die alone in the hands of masked strangers to be tested to be medicated to be genetically altered to be fed gibberish data to suckle a debilitating narrative merely masquerading as science to be cut off from community culture the very rhythm of life no this, this is not the way.
I finally let go of that piece of flotsam only to discover I am the leviathan. The fear dissipates in a poof of anger that just as quickly transforms into power. I claim that.
So maybe some people noticed the more-than-ten-billion-dollars Bayer just agreed to pay out in order to settle thousands of outstanding lawsuits. This involved litigation relative to its subsidiary Monsanto’s product, RoundUp, which contains glyphosate, among other things. The lawsuits had been brought by RoundUp users who became cancer patients suffering from non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Why oh why are people still spraying this stuff on their lawns? Just yesterday, I watched people in a neighborhood, calmly walking around their yards doing just that. Yards where kids play. I imagine some of these conscientious folks wear a mask in the store where they buy their RoundUp. Hmm.
Elsewhere, start noticing those little pesticide/herbicide signs. They are everywhere on the lawns of neighborhood homes and businesses. You know, there’s a reason they have to put an actual warning on a lawn.
I don’t get why people are willing to compromise themselves and others and the natural world for the sake of … weeds. Weeds are a mental construct. That’s about it.
Lawns, honestly, should be a thing of the past anyway. I understand people are concerned about property values, but there’s also the value of life itself. It’s a simple matter of changing perspective about what actually constitutes “beautiful.”
I also don’t get why any glyphosate products are even allowed to be sold in the United States.
Think about it: Bayer would rather shell out $10 billion dollars than try to defend RoundUp in these cases. That’s how unwinnable it is: $10 billion dollars unwinnable.
But wait, I do know why RoundUp can still be sold in the United States. It’s because people are still buying it. Which is also why Bayer has $10 billion dollars to spend on this and remain in business.
What, folks, are we thinking? Alas, I fear, there is no thinking involved. At least, not critical thinking.
I notice the shadow falling over the afternoon. I pause, wondering. Then, a long, rolling rumble of thunder confirms it.
I feel both a tension and a peace, and I’m not quite sure how that works together.
The weather moves in, and the rain begins to pelt.
The sudden coolness and wateriness of the world surrounds me. The energy sweeping this maelstrom to my doorstep buzzes in the air. The pressure of the next thunderous boom builds inexorably.
And yet, I am at utter peace. There is somehow safety in this sequestered moment, resting in the arms of nature even when there may be trouble there. There is a necessary letting go; there is nothing to which to hold on. This minute just is.
I look down, and there is my best friend cat stretched out lazily about as far as he can go, wholly content.
It is just a breath of a moment where all the worry, all the unknowns of life in the Time of Covid recede: a rainy respite from what might be normal, or should be, or could be, or God help us.
Coming away from it all too quickly, I feel the forgotten sense of potential, and right on its heels, fatigue. There’s a lot of work in all the routines of uncertainty and concern, and I’m tired as the mantle of subconscious worry slips back over me. We’re all tired, I think.
But for just that moment, I let go and now I remember what that feels like, that it’s possible inside this epoch of abnormalities. I picture the narrative we’ve lately been living just drifting out the window, like a mist sucked away with the now retreating weather, and I can’t help but notice what’s left.
Best friend cat renews his stretch, rolling over, abandoned to it.
She looked up in November and saw they were leaving. The geese flew, silent against the grey sky, headed for their winter home. She lifted her mittened hand and waved.
“Au revoir!” she called out to them. “A bientot!” she never failed to add, counting on seeing their return in the spring.
She always said something in French to them. After all, she thought whimsically, they were Canadian geese — some of them might speak French. And, indeed, she was rewarded with a couple of fleeting honks.
She continued on her solitary walk, happy to have seen them, but sorry to see them go. She felt a fresh pang of loneliness.
Months later, against the blue skies of a spring day, she spotted the beginning of their return. She loved the way they traveled together, looking out for each other, sharing the journey. She listened to their honking chatter as if they might be calling out her name.
One hand to her brimming heart, and the other waving broadly, she cried, “Mes amis! Bienvenue!” Her whisper followed, “I missed you.”
In autumn, a day came she never thought she would see.
This time, when the geese called, two smiling faces turned upward together.
She felt her heart fill and overflow, grateful, amazed for this perfect moment. She felt herself soaring in the sky with all the beauty that now filled her world.
She waved to the geese. “Merci! Merci beaucoup!” she called to them. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart!”
Her companion gently laughed in amusement, pulling her close, waving joyfully.
Many thanks to Sue Vincent for this week’s #WritePhoto prompt, “Soar.”
deep summer means going down to the pond in the early evening to wait for the meteor shower. we all roast marshmallows over a sleepy fire. dragonflies flit past. conversation drifts soft and sparse. on my blanket i stare straight up as night creeps in, an occasional hiss from the fire. we breathe into the night sky. minutes pass. “there’s one,” someone says, and i know they’re pointing in the dark. soon, we are transfixed, watching as the stars streak, brilliant in their heavenly falls. the hopeful quiet moments of waiting are always answered with the promise of a wish.
So now we learn a company called Oxitec is getting ready to release 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes in Key West, Florida, starting this summer and carrying on through 2022. They plan to expand the experiment to include Harris County, Texas as well.
The Oxitec GMO mosquito project is aimed at making it so that the progeny of normal female mosquitoes who mate with male GMO mosquitoes are rendered less viable to survive to maturity. This leads to the “temporary collapse of a wild population.” One has to wonder how both the altered mosquitoes and the environmental collapses might affect other insects, birds, and mammals that feed on the mosquitoes.
It’s amazing to me that this got the go-ahead from both the Environmental Protection Agency (that’s what they call it, anyway) and the State of Florida, particularly during this time of a heavily studied but still poorly understood pandemic of theoretically zoonotic origins, environmental issues notwithstanding.
The experiment’s approvals came over the objections of local residents and environmental groups who assert that the risks have not been seriously analyzed. A number of environmental groups plan to sue the EPA over the matter.
I get that mosquitoes are a real problem for us, spawning serious diseases. I also get that the expressed intent of engineering the GMO mosquitoes is to ultimately reduce the threatening population. I am sorry, though, genetically modifying the composition of life itself to address our problems is not an acceptable approach.
We are not God, not the universe, and we are absolute neophytes in our understanding of our world and its complex interrelationships. I trust no man or woman to act in such a capacity, altering the very design of earth’s creatures.
This is not science. It’s a crap shoot.
Tampering with the genetics of life on this earth is dangerous business. We really have no idea what the ultimate ramifications are or could be. Nor will we know the broad answers to that question in the space of a season, or a year, or ten years.
This is not Oxitec’s first foray into such experimentation. From 2013 to 2015, they released 450,000 GMO mosquitoes every week in the vicinity of Jacobina, Brazil. The results from that experiment were touted as successful, but are, in fact, unclear, when you consider a Yale study that raised questions about the unintended results of the experiment. Of course, Oxitec rebutted such concerns, and what do you know, here we are getting ready to do it again.
I imagine that when the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is one of your investors, it helps to grease the skids.
Beyond the unknown impacts of these experiments, it is also disturbing to ponder the notion that once you get comfortable modifying plants, and then mosquitoes, bats, and who knows what else, how long will it be before they come to genetically modify You for whatever purposes?
It’s just not that hard to imagine a government somewhere applying that kind of technology in more disturbing ways. Even as we read about the GMO mosquitoes, we learn that China is amassing a vast database of DNA information, sending its police out to collect blood samples from its male population, including children.
At the same time, worldwide, many people have, in the course of a few short months, learned to desire wide scale testing, clamor for a vaccine, and accept the idea of contact tracing.
It is just not that great a leap to imagine GMO being put to unacceptable and unimaginably dangerous uses.
Conspiracies or not, entities like the Gates Foundation have their hand in all of this.
I trust no profiteering humans, no matter how benevolent the veneer may be polished, to mess around with life in such a fashion.