by Sue Robin, Los Angeles, California
I heard a loud thud out on the deck while sipping tea and doing word puzzles in bed. I have given myself the protection of not starting nor ending my day with news, but sometimes the harsh reality of life comes anyway. Russ went to see what had happened. A little wren was lying on the potting table, not moving. The windows aren’t squeaky clean, but I guess even dirty windows can fool some creatures. In his infinite wisdom, my sweetheart decided to leave her be. The hope was that she was just stunned and would fly off, or we would be planning a small funeral. Thirty minutes later, he went to check on the little one and came back with a big grin. She had caught her breath and flown away.
We have been lucky and cautious since the pandemic hit. We had a moment back in June, just before Omicron (a slightly softer thud) came to town, when transmission rates sank to below 1 in our city. We went marketing without a mask and ate dinner inside at a restaurant, but it was a short-lived reprieve. Omicron found family and friends both here and across the country, but, thankfully, all weathered the illness well. We will be in line for the specific Omicron jab coming in September or October. Fingers crossed that Omicron doesn’t find us first.
There was another loud thud when – just three days before my planned knee surgery – the Orthopedic Clinic called to let me know my doctor had Covid. I was sent to the back of the line and am now scheduled for the 12th of September. I was bereft for a couple of days, but lightened up when a friend said, “Better he tested positive the day before the surgery than the day after.” Perspective is everything. Considering how time flies the older one gets, the surgery will be here in a flash. While I wait, I will keep riding my stationary bike.
The thud is deafening when I think of the devastation of climate change that hangs over all our heads. There are fires raging in Yosemite, northern California, Idaho, and God knows where else. Flooding has taken over 30 lives in Kentucky.
We are doing all the small things individuals and families can do. We will support and vote for people who believe in science. My fingers are crossed that Biden will be able to sign a bill that represents the first step of a journey of a thousand steps on climate change. I pray that we are not too late.
Perhaps the loudest thud of all has been the anguish and the ramifications left in the wake of Trump and the insurrection on January 6. While I think the January 6th hearings have shown the horror of what happened on that day and his complicity, I am afraid not everyone wants to give up their adulation of him quite yet. Though the polls are changing a bit, and more and more insurrectionists have been charged and some sent to jail, it is still a long slog. More hearings in September. Midterm elections in November. My fervent and oft-repeated hope is that justice will be served.
I am also hoping that, as the hearings wind down and the Justice Department gets ready to make its move, our country will catch its breath like the little wren and be able to fly free once again.
Climate, Covid and our Constitution all deserve the proper respect and honor that will protect Mother Earth, her people, and our way of life.