“Post 34/2021 Saturday 14 August . . . The phrase, “Right as rain,” originated in Britain in 1894, acknowledging that rainy weather is a normal fact of life. Restored to health after an illness or injury, one is again “right as rain,” in good health, feeling chipper. Compare that to the American phrase, “Life is just a bowl of cherries.” That is, life is carefree, full of pleasure and enjoyment, hunky-dory. Normal.
That’s how I wish the times were today. Right as rain, carefree, ripe with cherries, normal.
Unseemly weather, unseemly leaders
The reality this week here in the Great Lakes Region, as in many other places, was of unseemly heat and humidity. An area-wide storm on Thursday brought down trees and caused power outage for many in neighboring towns. At Greencroft we lost a few trees, but had no loss of electric power.
Such conditions addle body, mind and spirit.
Besides the weather, what’s more concerning is the fiddling some governors and legislators are doing while Covid-19 and its variants infect the people whom they were elected to serve and protect. These leaders project an illusion that they are in control, that the real issues of vaccination and masks revolve around personal choice, not personal responsibility. Bottom line, instead of seeking the common good with measures to best prevent illness and death, they try to keep going even if off the rails.
We’re in this together. We heard more emphatically this week how culpable humans are for the dire straits we face. Hear! Hear!: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I’m glad to learn about their longstanding attention to matters that really matter. During the past eight years the Panel’s more than 700 scientists compiled an almost 4,000-page Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. “It is the single most comprehensive and cutthroat climate report to date,” noted the Open Access Government Organization (August 12) in a brief focus on the future of the oceans.
Open Access: “Our seas provide a prominent role in our ecosystem, producing oxygen for the atmosphere and storing carbon. The ocean also provides a sustainable source of food and income for a large proportion of the global population. . . . According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN}, ‘the degradation of coastal and marine ecosystems threatens the physical, economic and food security of coastal communities — around 40% of the world population.'”
Open Access said, “The report also reveals the full extent to which humanity is to blame for the ‘unprecedented’ climate emergency. The answer is definitive – ‘human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land.'” You’ll find the three-page article on the future of our oceans at http://www.openaccessgovernment.org/ipcc-report/117241/
A good word from Clementine Churchill
I’m reading The Splendid and the Vile: A saga of Churchill, family, and defiance during The Blitz, by Erik Larson (Crown, New York, 2020). In a letter to her husband during this 1940-41 conflagration with Hitler, Clementine wrote, “My Darling Winston, I must confess that I have noticed a deterioration in your manner; & you are not so kind as you used to be.'”
Larsen writes, “She cautioned that in possessing the power to give orders and to ‘sack anyone & everyone,’ he was obliged to maintain a high standard of behavior–to ‘combine urbanity, kindness and if possible Olympic calm.’ She reminded him that in the past he had been fond of quoting a French maxim, ‘On ne regne sure les ames que par le calme,‘ meaning, essentially, ‘One leads by calm.'”
Olympic calm. How fitting. That’s it. May it be my maxim as I find my way through understanding and responding to the extremes of heat waves, fires, floods and record drought–and the follies of some–for the future that is with us right now.
Gardens flourish, friends gather, frets fall away
May calmness fill you right as rain, a bowl of cherries cheer you, a smile crinkle your face (even when behind a mask).
We’re off for a walk to the library and coffee when we get back.