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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Washington DC (from HP)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.