Sunday, October 04, 2020

No Mud.....

 In  Ireland in the fifties and sixties, when the Catholic church had a firm grip on our throats, prayer was stitched into our lives like breathing. The church had something to say about every detail of our lives; what we could and could not do; what we should and should not do; the things that would guarantee heaven and the things that would guarantee hell. And if you were in doubt you could always get down on your knees and pray. And if you sinned, well you could go to confession and all would be forgiven, as long as you promised to mend your ways. 

It's different here. No religious body has the kind of control over everyday lives in the U.S. that the Catholic church had there, and then. But life is fraught with difficulties and problems no matter where you are in the world and, though I'm no longer in Ireland, when life goes haywire, as it regularly does, I find myself back on my knees, begging for help, for courage, for acceptance, for peace. 

Take the last few weeks.

Two of our children live out west, one in California, one in Oregon, states which, in case you haven't heard, have been on fire for some time. Oregon seems to be over the worst of it, but California's still burning. I had previously thought I felt sympathy and compassion whenever I heard of disasters in far flung places, but when the disaster touched people I know and love, people I gave birth to, I realized how shallow my compassion for those other unfortunates really was. I felt the panic of a mother bear separated from her cubs, unable to save them. I've been praying a lot, storming heaven. Your Man up there is probably tired of listening to me at this stage. CA girl had to evacuate once already, along with horses, cat and boss's dog. Now that she's back, they can still see the fire in the distance, a few ridges over, and, depending on the heat and the wind, the danger is still real. Oregon boy does not live where the fires were worst so he did not have to evacuate. But work was put on hold, the air quality being for a while, the unhealthiest in the world, right along with California's. Eventually, though many would say not soon enough, the rains came to Oregon, but California is still waiting. And when it isn't raining Oregonians can see the sun once more, as it normally looks, rather than a dull red smudge in the sky glowing darkly through a haze of choking smoke. 

And, now that they are safe, I'm still storming heaven, in gratitude to God, Allah, the Buddha, the Ultimate Reality, Mother Nature - aren't they all the same at the end of the day? Especially Mother Nature as she's the one calling the shots, determining how hot it will be, or not be, and in what direction the winds will blow today. I can't help thinking this entity (I'm pretty sure it's not an old gentleman with a white beard, sitting on a cloud) must be saddened by all the hate and lack of civility humans are displaying in the cities wracked by riots and anarchy, not to mention the colossal mess we're making of this fragile, beautiful planet. 

Maybe we're supposed to learn from 2020 - to love more; to judge less; to give each other the benefit of the doubt; to be kinder to each other, and ourselves; to breathe

 Maybe even to pray. 

"No mud, no lotus," says Thich Nhat Hanh. 

We've had a lot of mud this year. I'm hoping for a bumper crop of lotuses.


Elephant's Child said...

I really, really hope the lessons for the year that you suggested stick. And stick more firmly than mud.

Marigold Jam said...

I couldn't have said it better myself! My feelings exactly although luckily I don't have family in danger from fires but the Wanderer does live in London where Covid is more likely than here in the West Coutry. I too, often think that whatever one 's idea of God, Nature, Great Spirit etc he or she must be thinking "I gave them everything that they could possibly need and just look what they have done and what a mess they have made of it all"! I too, find myslef praying for deliverance and for peace but also for the strength to accept that the answer might not be the one I am hoping for!!

I love your posts you manage to put into words just what I am thinking. keep them coming.

Relatively Retiring said...

It's all been said by those two! And you, of course.
The raw terror of having even the most adult of offspring in danger is terrible.
The mud analogy is so appropriate. There is so much of it, but sometimes a lotus gets through, clean and beautiful.

Ali Honey said...

I can do the Mother Nature part. How much influence do we have in that?

Wisewebwoman said...

As I've often said, Molly, we are the pestilence that our beautiful Gaia tries to shake off periodically, through fire and brimstone and yes, plague. The Covid as our people call it.

We are meant to live in harmony and peace. Not constant war and destruction and bleeding Her for all eternity and only for money. And as my First Nations friends say: we can't eat or drink money It breaks my heart. I hope our leaders see the way. I wish women were running the world.


Sabine said...

Yes, we need to learn our lessons, especially the one that nature is not a force out there but that we are part of it, that it is us who are messing things up. That it is in our hands.

My thoughts go out to you and your worries, my kid lives a far away life too. I get it.

molly said...

EC - We have no choice but to wait it out. I wonder what we'll be saying and feeling six months from now. My default setting is optimism but there's always a niggling doubt hiding behind it.

MJ - Yup. We do seem to act a lot like spoiled children who have had too much handed to them without effort on their part. Our hard working forebears never even dreamt of the luxuries and conveniences we take completely for granted.

RR - Just today, walking around at the back of our garden I noticed another beauty that comes from 'mud.' There were little raised bumps in the pine needle covered ground. Some had broken through to reveal themselves to be pristine, snowy white fungi - like fairy toadstools. And all nourished and brought to life by dead leaves and mud and pine needles!

Ali - Well, she rages for a while and then calms down. It was a beautiful day today in Oregon. I'm sure a lot of people there, just a few weeks ago, despaired of ever again seeing a day as beautiful, and of course it will be a long road back to 'normal' for many who lost so much to the fires. And CA still struggles... come on Mother nature!

WWW - I read somewhere today that the wolves were better stewards of the land in Yellowstone Park than humans. And I read recently that Native Americans managed wildfires pretty well until they were prevented from using their methods by the government. And now look what's happening. Maybe, we should rethink and put them in charge since they had been doing a better job of it. But then you have to factor in climate change also....

Sabine - That bit about wolves? It was in the intro to the English edition of "The Hidden Life of Trees" by Peter Wohlleben, a fellow countryman of yours! It's been on my To Read list for ages. I am prepared to be delighted by it, just reading the intro.

Thimbleanna said...

Ahhh Molly -- you always have such wise words and always seem to say just what we've been thinking. What a mess. I hope your children are now safe that that you're enjoying a beautiful autumn weekend in paradise. XO

Pam said...

Oh dear, I hope that your chickens are now safe.

When contemplating having a baby, one didn't think about how much one would still worry about him/her forty plus years on, did one???

Gemma's person said...

I hope it is the good who survive and the wicked that change their ways.

Molly said...

Annabanana - I am enjoying beautiful Fall weather and color - in Oregon!

Pam - Yes. Safe for this year as the fires are over in OR and, if not completely over in CA, at least no longer threatening any chickens of mine.

GP - A lot of good people survived the fires, but also lost everything in them. The fires may be over but many people will be struggling against all the problems left in their wake for a long time.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I think it is only human to be more concerned when it's your own flesh and blood. That's just wired into us. It doesn't mean your compassion for strangers suffering is meaningless.

And we've had a full-on mudslide this year! I sure hope we make the changes we need to get back on track.

Molly said...

SAW - Thank you for that. Also hear, hear on an end to the mudslide!