Let’s Watch Phenomenas Arise Out of the Darkness


Their announcement of arrival settles into the heart of kinfolk with no more sound than a feather meeting the ground. Yet, it might as well be like the sonic boom of a russian meteor. Last week my eyes got a little wider in the sigh of the moment when I realized…they’re here now.

To greet them, we drove north, to a little spot found last year.



Everyone is still shaking off their winter hangover. The awake ones remind me of the folks I see walking to work when I am still groggy and in my bathrobe, or the hosts of an event who are still milling about a few minutes before the doors open.



Coyote was here.

Fern and I stopped at a nearby meadow to have a little picnic. We did some yoga and dancing and swinging around and remembered how good it is to be embodied. Having attained the proper reverence, we gathered clippers and walked to The Spot.

Hmmm, where are they?

Ah, now we see you.

Nettles. The big impressive Urtica Dioica ones, unlike the Dwarf Nettle (Urtica Urens) that grow all about the city, have a sting that only needs to say it once.

Funny enough, I associate their bite with such goodness, that I don’t mind at all if I get stung, and it feels like another way they give their medicine. Still, I try not to, since it means Paying Better Attention.

She surveyed my foraging, chanting “Mama, I want you to be careful. Don’t touch any nettles.”

I took every opportunity to point them out to Fern, asking if she could spot them. I might be ok with their slap, but I want to spare my little one from what would surely be an overwhelming experience. How to explain that the Fire Ants under your skin will go away in just a minute?

“Mama? There’s too many friends under here and I can’t get down.”

We offered thanks, and sang them songs. Fern’s version inevitably was peppered with “poop”. It’s her age. And really, poop on plants is like spreading manure, so she’s got something there.


We spent a relaxed morning with the kids, the Climate Forward Rally in DC livestreaming in the background. My heart leapt at the sight of the National Mall, packed with 40,000 people (350.org estimated 50,000). We (of course) were going to the solidarity rally in SF. I stopped going to rallies in 2002, after a 100,000 people turned out to protest the war in Afghanistan and it wasn’t even covered by the news. I hoped for a good turn out, but I have often felt so alone in our culture of climate change denial, that I just wasn’t sure.

I needn’t have worried. As McKibben said yesterday after the DC Rally You are the movement, and the movement is our best chance at making a difference on climate change.

It’s happening.

Washington DC (from HP)

San Francisco (Sierra Club photo)

Ready to go.

Walking to the rally. We took the bus downtown, sitting in the back with a very large and smelly drunk man who joined in with our rousing rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus”.

We arrived to a crowded corner, greeted by a Sierra Club volunteer. They were head counting, and took our information, then gave us the lowdown on the timing of the day’s events. This was a super well organized event. Kudos.

I had brought a lot of snacks, and of course everybody decided they were hungry after discoveriing what the backpack might contain. Also, taking pictures in a crowd is hard.




I am so grateful when I realize I have stepped into The Flow. We ran into my colleague and friend just as we got there, and we enjoyed his company for the march.

This was my first time meeting blog friend Dolly. She brought her two beautiful kids too, so we were quiet the happy (and sometimes grouchy) little entourage.

Virtual meets Realtime, and it’s all true. So grateful to have made a new friend.

Baby Lincoln.

Little Teddy.





It’s time to cut out the shenanigans.


I wore the Dress of Perfection from Sara, for the first time. Thank you sweet Forestlass, I felt magical.


Seriously, time to give it up. I am shocked at how we are clinging to Fossil Fuels, as if there’s no other way of life at the end of it all. Let’s all go home, sleep it off, and wake up in the morning, ready for a new world. It’s gonna be better, I promise. The discomfort of change and adjustment will be insignificant compared to an uninhabitable planet.


At the rally:




Idle No More led most of the rally, and encouraged everyone to move in a friendship dance.

I spotted this sign in the crowd and tears welled up in my eyes. From my own stomping grounds.

Bless you. I am with you, all the way.



Justin Herman Plaza has a huge sculpture, usually filled with water as a fountain. This day it was dry and so we camped out and the kids got to play.





Dolly is a good story teller.

The plaza filled out as more and more folks arrived. Sierra Club estimated it at 4,000…since they were headcounting, I trust that number.


It was a beautiful day. Dolly and I walked home with the kids, our ride on the F train peaceful and without smelly dudes. We strolled through my neighborhood, past a late-in-the-day yard sale, and I SCORED, an unusual thing for an SF yardsale (and Dolly was a sweet sneak and bought me something I love…thank you dear).

I thought the perfect way to honor such a good day and a new friendship was to share a meal together. And the main ingredient? Nettles! They were rich and full of life, good nourishment for weary feet and happy hearts.

We ended our weekend full of gratitude, satisfied and at peace with ourselves. It is vital, and will probably remain so for the rest of my life, to find community and companionship on this long, and often frightening, path through a changing environment and climate. It is important to do the work, whatever that may be and whatever the heart calls for…it is the antidote to anxiety and helplessness. But do it with others…because that is where the joy is.


7 thoughts on “Let’s Watch Phenomenas Arise Out of the Darkness

  1. Love this post and love you. it’s early morning and i HAVE to go get kids bundled for school now otherwise would write more. Glad you could go and be part of it. also so wonderful Fern and Leo could go too. wow that dress! And cheers to new friends.

  2. THE FLOW indeed!!! you and my own dear dolly?!! i couldn’t believe it, as i was scrolling and reading i was like, darin, come see this, my friend mary posted a picture of her day in sf and dolly smith just happened to be walking by! crazy huh?! then i kept seeing her lovely face and babes and i’m like wait a minute, they are together! then i read your words and i was so so glad and not surprised at all that you two know each other through the blogworld. after all you are the two main friends, besides emily and my OThER mary-friend, that have talked to me about bach flower remedies. i kind of feel like i was right there marching and singing and dancing along with you beautiful friends. it is a good world indeed when people i love come together like this. and i shed a tear as i played the last song, feeding my babe her supper and she got all quiet and contemplative as she seems to do when pretty music plays. (she also danced when i played the friendship dance drumming song vid!) you just made my night so lovely. i feel renewed, refreshed, and ready to help tackle this thing head on with spirits and like minds and friends like all of YOU!!!!

  3. oh oh oh.
    still giddy.
    i feel so blessed to have had the freedom to roll west with my two chilluns, and plop myself right on your doorstep!

    dreams do come true. πŸ˜‰

    and then to take step after step with other defenders of our home.

    to be fed and led by you was so nourishing.

    i’m always pondering this phenomena of hearts and internet and people and connections…

    and the unique situations that one can find themselves in. (blending the blogging persona with terra firma… balancing what i know about you from your blog posts, to just meeting you for the first time…etc etc etc… it’s an interesting thing.)

    i feel like i was an over-eager beaver, peppering you with questions, so i could soak in some of your experiential wisdom…thank you for being patient. πŸ™‚ this young mom needs some cool mom/individual role models.

    it’s not often that i get to meet people that i have admired and been
    inspired by,

    your dear heart is like a light,

    and you are both gentle and fierce.

    but i must tell you something of little importance:
    i don’t know if i properly represented myself. i think i was feeling really shy when i dressed sunday morning.
    i’m usually much greasier and grungier. πŸ˜‰

    i am open and willing to whenever the universe will bring us together again…yosemite? anarcho-book fair?

    sending love!


    say hi to my friend fern for me!

  4. WOW.You know I love this post so much. (not to mention feel honored to be in it!) Oh it fills me with joy and a little tiny bit of sadness, because I WANT TO BE THERE WITH YOU. So badly. And at the same time I feel so happy that you’re there, fighting for our lives and our loves. So awesome by the way that you and Heather are connected by Dolly! We are all connected. Such a trip.
    I love how little Fern is learning about the earth and her bounty and how you want to be mindful around your plant friends ‘cos sometimes they might sting a little. We need a forest walk together for sure, but in so many ways, we walk together every day. So much love to you sister. You inspire me so.

  5. When I said that you’re my “storming heroine,” I really meant it. You live by setting an excellent example with your conscientious caring, your love. It made me so very happy to see that you wore the dress I sent you. I felt like a little piece of myself could be with you that day.

    I look so forward to the day that I can meet you, big sister of my heart.

    Love you.


    P.S. Your friend/colleague is a total babe.

    P.P.S. Dolly is one of my partners in Anne’s CD swap! I was so surprised to see that you guys were hanging out, though I really shouldn’t. Everything’s possible. :]

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