Summer has been at its peak, climate-wise, for the past few weeks.
During bicycle rides, I’ve been taking in the deep smells of haying, the lighter fragrances of flowers and crops, and the occasional blast of cow manure. The temperature has begun to drop more at night, a harbinger of fall – especially in combination with some early leaf-turning.
I will miss Massachusetts this upcoming year – and who would ever have guessed I’d be saying that?! Yesterday, while floating down the Deerfield River in an inner tube with raucous friends, trying to dodge vigorous rafters and avoid skewering by overzealous kayakers, I thought, “But why not? I was conceived here.” The spark of potential consciousness embedded at that biological instant probably drew energy from these environs. (From where else could it come?)
The past month has been a blur of teaching, proposal-writing/refining, and soaking up as much socializing before the community’s inevitable dispersal. So many have already left, with so many soon to follow. My own departure approaches: probably temporary but who ever knows for sure?
Types of fare-thee-well gatherings vary from certain kinds of overstock to full spread (delectable) meals, and gifts.
All manner of pronouncements have been made at said events, from “I will never forget!” to
Memory is short, however. And so a lot of time gets spent milling around. “We are waiting for a reason,” Hunter posed – not wanting to actually ask the question but wondering nonetheless. “Nobody knows what’s happening.” Dhara explained our group’s arduously slow process of decision-making while I mused on cultural differences. It struck me with the force of revelation that I have hardly ever waited for groups/events to happen. No wonder I’m so apt to the production of something, to doing something, of there being a thing requiring participatory action on my part! This is the (U.S.) american enculturation process – deep training beginning with preschool about time (schedules), timing (hurry up, switch now), and completion (well, we may not get a chance to come back to that so you better just get it done now).
“This,” Don intoned on the edge of the Deerfield River, “is how it was at Troy.” I thought he meant hordes of strangers merging for a common purpose. No, seems he had burning the boats in mind, so there would be no possibility of retreat. That is the way life is, ain’t it? Sometimes you can backtrack but it is never the same as if you went that way the first time. “We need an airlift!” is not the same as, “Hey, can you drop us some more supplies?”
“You’re not in Belgium yet,” Zeynep advised, as she congratulated (us both?!) on returning from our mental moments elsewhere.
This morning I began to read an analysis of Obama’s economic ideology, in which he is characterized as more left and more right than one might think, a position he describes as postpartisan. I definitely approve of this measure: “…changing the tax code so that families making more than $250,000 a year pay more taxes and nearly everyone else pays less. That would begin to address inequality.”
We got kids coming, y’know? And there are so many already in the world, growing up under a new climate, with a different reference point for the planet than we (at least most in my generation) ever imagined. We got chances to make things better, different: more fair, more possible.