Another April morning. I’ve come to the keyboard but I am lost for words. The morning feels grey and wintry though the sun is breaking through. I can’t quite believe that the high today will be 18℃. It is 8:44 am. It’s 6℃ outside and 10.3℃ in the greenhouse. The 10.3 sounds high though it is still quite chilly inside. I’ve made a visit there and out to take the covers off the covered raised beds. The lettuce, celery and daikon are all looking fine. They do like the cold so maybe I can stop fussing and covering under the cover. But I see that it is going down to -6℃ Monday night. How can I stop worrying? It is easy to just throw on another cover.
We are living in unpredictable times. Maybe we always have but never knew it. What a waker upper, eh? Now there is no escape. There are plenty of deniers even though the third wave of Covid is hitting hard for many countries in the world and global climate change threatens our survival. I’m not being pessimistic but facing the facts. I like to deny, too, but denying and hiding from things leads to stress and anxiety. I’ve learned the hard way, from experience.
Not running away and facing the enemy is scary, very scary. I suffer from anxiety attacks. I have ran away and hid. That only led to prolonged anxiety, the waiting for the other shoe to drop and my heart in my mouth. It’s been a long journey and I’ve gotten acquainted with my fears and triggers. I am much better now. I’ve learned to stand my ground and face my enemy. Sometimes I have to bite the bullet, feeling the rush of adrenalin through my body. I always come out the other side, safe and whole. This gives me confidence. Each time I gain a little more.
I think I’ve become a better person for all my anxieties. For one thing, I am more empathetic to other sufferers. An ear to listen is a valuable thing. It took me a long time to realize that I don’t have to fix everyone’s problems. I just have to sit and listen without judgement or offerings. Another thing is I’ve gotten to know myself very well. I’m well acquainted with my emotions and my physiological response to different stimuli. I’m learning how to deescalate my emotions so that they don’t cause me harm. I feel things very deeply. I am what you call a HSP, a highly sensitive person(self diagnosis).
It is now 10℃ out. The sun is a little brighter, but the sky looks cold dirty dishwater. It is what it is. I will carry on as best as I can. Meanwhile the bulbs I planted the autumn before last are blooming – more and bigger than last spring.
It’s February 22 and the 22nd day of the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I’m getting close to the finish line. 6 more days after today. I woke to +4℃ this morning. You wouldn’t think it would be a cause for cursing but it was for me. To me it’s a sign of climate change, unstability and uncertainty. Weve been experiencing both ends of weather extremes within a couple of weeks. I’ve been mostly singing positive tunes no matter what. Perhaps I should continue but wouldn’t it be just like copy and paste? What good would putting on a brave face do, except that?
Maybe it is time for me to change my ways along with the weather. I can’t just keep going on with the same old, same old. Look at what happened in Texas. I have reason to feel despondent in this time but not reason to act so. Now is the time for me to find ways to conserve my energy for things that do serve me rather than take away from me. Perhaps that is what Joanna Macy’s Active Hope is. “Hope is not something to have. Hope is something to do.” I don’t want to mire myself in my muck. I don’t want to stay stuck in my rut. I want to get out of it.
I long have discovered that movement was my getting-out-of-stuck tool, even before Kelly McGonigal wrote The Joy of Movement. Sitting with all my stuck thoughts and feelings was not a solution. They were like the gerbil on its wheel, going round and round. Whereas if I just stood up, I’ve changed my posture. I’ve disturbed something. And if I step outside, I find my spirit lifting even on a cloudy day. I found the joy of a blue sky on my walks with Sheba. Before, I seldom look up to see the sky. I discovered the sensation of flow through swimming. I have lost Sheba but I’m still moving in the great outdoor on cross country skis. I will swim again once the Covid virus has eased. There is always hope to be done.
My Long Keep Tomato seedlings are growing. They have a few new leaves. And the Black Krims are poking their heads above the soil but not so the Jade Dragon Bitter Melon seeds. Perhaps soon. I will seed some cucumbers today for the greenhouse. The climbing vines willl help to shade and keep it cooler on hot summer days. We’ve already had some high temperatures of above 30℃ on sunny afternoons. Last night was the first that it did not go below freezing. Hope in action.
It’s difficult to be cheerful and optimistic when you watch the American election. Neither candidate, Trump or Biden are young men at 74 and 77 respectively. Neither looked in the best of health. I haven’t been following their campaign but I have heard the President talk on TV many times before. And I just want to turn him off. I’ve just listened to former NYC mayor Rudi Giuliani speak on NowThis News about the corruption of the Democrats on mail in vote fraud. It is very distressing, watching all this. I shall stop right now.
It is a f’ing frightening time in the world now. I hear no talk of climate change on the political stage. Theres no talk of plans of how to slow and reverse climate change. The politicians are only interested in attacking each other. As for our news, it’s all Covid and then the elections. We’ve been bombarded with our own provincial, civic and now the U.S elections. What about the other stuff happening in the rest of the world? What about our planet? Does anything else matter any more if there is no earth?
Oh, let me pull back to my corner of concern – growing food. It is something I/we all can do. It is my passion along with sustainability. I shall adopt Patrick Dolan’s approach of one yard revolution at a time. I love all his videos. They are a wealth of information and enjoyable to watch. Today, I learned some new vegetables to grow – claytonia and Egyptian walking onions. Claytonia is also good for cool weather. I’ve just discovered West Coast Seeds online this year. They have a wide selection of Asian vegetables being on the west coast where there’s a large Asian population. They have the claytonia, jade dragon bitter melon and winter spinach. I’m eager to try them out.
The door to our greenhouse went up today. Needs some fixings but everything is all closed in. We have a couple of warm days left. Can’t believe that tomorrow’s high is 18 degrees Celsius. Then there’s snow on Saturday. No climate change, eh? Oh, whatever!
I feel anxiety and the blues nipping at my heels. What did I expect anyways? I listened to too many podcasts this morning. I should have just listened to the silence while making bread instead. I could have listened to the dough rising. Instead I listened to Oprah interviewing Tara Westover about her book, Educated. It’s an inspiring story but it’s difficult to listen to the stories of her dysfunctional family. It’s a book I will still read.
After that, it was the episode about the UN biodiversity report of how many species of living plants and animals are disappearing around the world. It’s damn depressing and scary stuff on top of climate change.
“Extinction looms over one million species of plants and animals worldwide, scientists said.”
It’s news I rather not know. But how can we not, even though some proclaim that there’s no such thing as climate change and dispute the facts presented by scientists? These days we are living with unease just barely beneath the skin. I feel it humming through my body and psyche. I could not listen to the next podcast that came up –As permafrost thaws in Canada’s Arctic. I had to shut it off. I am a chicken shit. Now I’m sitting here, trying to tap out my residues of fear and the blues. I no longer try to run away from them. Running makes them come after me. But perhaps I can do a walk away. It’s that time of day for Sheba’s walk. A little sunshine and fresh air are good for the soul but not so for the bogeymen.
I’ve given myself a good shake to come back to this space. Though disheartened and disillusioned, I still believe in my mantra. No matter how I feel, I get up, dress up and show up. So here I am, in front of the keyboard, with my cup of tea, doing my tap dance. I do so love the sound of the dancing keys. I love seeing the letters, words and sentences march across the page. I love both the song and the dance. May I have this dance with you? Will you stay with me as we waltz around the page, exchanging thoughts and ideas?
Perhaps today is not a good time for reflection. It is difficult to see clearly. We are covered with smoke from the fires burning in British Columbia. The province has declared a state of emergency with close to 600 fires burning. If I am finding my world dark and smoky 2 provinces away, I can’t imagine what it is like there or in Alberta. For that, I am grateful. Still, it is difficult to think that we can carry on as usual. Our sky is broken. Our air is acrid. Our planet is in danger. We are living in climate change. That is quite clear now.
So – I’ve got my lament off my chest. Let me try to move on, if only with one-foot-in-front-of-the- other speed. I had such hopes this morning of ‘getting things done’. It is Saturday, my favourite day of the week. However, it didn’t take long before I was marooned in my emotions. What can I do? This is me. Can I unbecome myself? It’s best that I feel all that is in me, good and bad. Now I’m ready to come out the other side.
We went for our walk, Sheba and I, in the smoky haze. It was still good to get out. We encountered 2 other furballs, 13 years and 14 years old. Sheba is the 12 year old. They were all very well behaved. They wagged their tails in salute, gave a bark or two. Then we all moved on. A neighbour came out to tend her garden. She remarked that it was hard not to think that everything was coming to an end. We both agreed that there’s nothing we can do except to carry on.
Yup, the world looks a little surreal – a bit Stephen Kingish. We walked by the outdoor swimming pool. The water was oh so blue and pristine with the lanes roped. Empty – except I did spy a staff walking around the corner. There were cars in the parking lot but not a soul seen. Eerie. Get over it. Get on with it. I’m going. Gonna get on with my challenges and projects.
I have somehow lost my mojo for words. Imagine that! It’s been that kind of summer. It’s a marker, that’s for damn sure. Life will never be the same again. Can’t you feel it? It’s a roller coaster weather wise, too. If this doesn’t convince you we have climate change, nothing will. It has been a scorcher the last few days. PLUS we’re enveloped in smoke from forest fires on the west coast.
When I see my world enveloped in smokey haze for days, I have this feeling we are coming to our end faster than predicted. The world seemed to be on fire, literally. Then there’s the figuratively. There’s no good news. Bombings, shootings and more shootings. I do not have a positive slant on life right now.
I have lost my mojos for everything. Maybe it’s the heat. It’s taken the energy out of me. I say tomorrow I will do this and that. Tomorrow does come. It becomes today. And I say the same thing. Maybe tomorrow. What a sad sack I’ve become! Well, life hasn’t been easy. I’m not one to suffer in silence. I’m not blaming anyone or anything. Just saying as they say. I am sure that I am not alone in the difficulties of living. At least I shoot off my mouth instead of a gun.
I should call it a day and go to bed but I have this restlessness inside. How could one be at ease these days? I find it distressing having to draw the blinds to keep the heat out day after day. I feel as if I am in hiding from some unknown enemy. The forecast for the next few days is cooler temperatures. I can open the blinds at least. And maybe the windows if the smoke dissipates. There’s always hope. That’s what they say.
The morning is cool and overcast. Hard to get going. More so if I don’t make a start. So here goes. I’m tap, tapping on my keyboard, however I feel. As I tap, the sun came out, giving me a boost.
Last night I fell asleep with nature crackling thunderously overhead. Through the opened window, I saw lightning flashing in the dark. I felt surprisingly good surrounded by the furies of the Universe. I felt calmed by its energy. I heard its message. I’m doing the best I can – not to contribute to the destruction of our precious earth. I’m not feeling optimistic about our survival though. News of heat waves and fatalities in India and Europe, more turbulant air flights resulting in injuries and a summer of weird weather are convincing me of the truth. We are heading towards our last 10 years less a day.
I’m really a bit shocked at how calm and accepting of this truth I am. I am not at all frightened nor panicky. Perhaps I’m depressed but maybe not. The most amazing thing I’ve learned this year is when I let go of the fears – let all my shoes fall (or tossed into my garbage bin), there is no crash on the cement. I fall on a bed of feathers. I hear the wisdom of Professor McPherson’s advice.
“I think hope is a horrible idea. Hope is wishful thinking. Hope is a bad idea – let’s abandon that and get on with reality instead. Let’s get on with living instead of wishing for the future that never comes.
“I encourage people to pursue excellence, to pursue love, to pursue what they love to do. I don’t think these are crazy ideas, actually – and I also encourage people to remain calm because nothing is under control, certainly not under our control anyway.”
I could use a little more humour, too. Have you seen the move, Last Night? It’s an excellent Canadian black humour about a group of people facing the end of the world. Check it out.