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Friday list, April 2, 2021

Each Friday, a list of things I want to try. Designed to stretch my curiosity, challenge my beliefs, and poke my ego.

I began this in 2010 when I started the blog, then stopped after a while. Time to brush them off again, since there’s a lot to navigate in these times.

[trigger warning for one item on this week’s list. I refer to Hitler’s cruelty during the Holocaust as an example of the real challenges inherent in true forgiveness and reconciliation. This is part of my work as a white settler as inspired by the Truth and Reconciliation calls to action from First Nations People in Canada, and the work of Resmaa Menakem.]

List for Friday April 2, 2021:

  1. 1. Walk in the grass in bare feet, make sure there’s mud on them
  2. 2. In the interest of learning more about true reconciliation, try forgiving Hitler. Really forgive him without for one moment condoning the pain he inflicted and the cruelty he empowered and supported. Imagine he is my son, and I love him. What would I ask him to do in atonement? What would I ask him, period? (if I can’t forgive him that’s okay, try again when I’m ready to come back to it)
  3. 3. draw a frog from memory

4. Change something that’s been the same for at least six months

  1. 5. Finish two things then make a loud crow sound

6. Dance in my kitchen

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before the rain that ends the drought

The cicadas sing their doppler song of midsummer.

We are dry as long-dead bones pressed into rock and exposed to a thousand years of sun.  Grass is brown, frogs huddle under leaves in watered gardens to protect their skins from shriveling.  You can hear wood and metal expand in the 10 am heat.  The sky is more white than blue, absolutely cloudless.

It was supposed to rain today.  Three days ago, they called for rain which didn’t come.  And last week, and two weeks ago.  It didn’t rain then either.  We had a big thunderstorm before that  – it began at 4am and lasted seven hours.  Then the sun came out and dried it all up. The heat is heavy like hot stones piled on your legs and chest and mind, weighing you down.

The farmers say their first crop of hay yielded only half what it did last year – there will be shortages this winter.  Heat-loving insects I’ve never seen before are eating whatever they can…

I remember droughts like this in the 70s.  We survived those, as we will this one.

Grant and I are both struck with the culture of heat in a workaholic, northern climate – we’re not used to stopping at noon and sitting in rocking chairs on the back deck, watching butterflies and drinking iced lemonade.  But save for a trip to the beach, this is all we can do – make like a begonia and stick to the shade.

I’m finding this valuable. The butterflies, the gardens that still manage to grow and flower, the frogs that shelter there, the trees that drink the sun and make oxygen right before my eyes – all exhibit an incredible, impossible beauty.  On their behalf and our own I appreciate every small breeze, every cloud that crosses the sun.  And more than anything I appreciate rain.

When it comes I will dance in it.