Saturday, July 16, 2011

Summer Reflections

Environmental over-load and unfortunate sad stories.  Three parents of my daughter's peers  have died from cancer within the last two months.  Lovely people.  Devoted mothers and fathers.  All under fifty.  Another friend is dying of lung cancer.  Another dear friend is doing well post breast cancer treatment (radiation).  I just had a mole removed that might be melanoma.  I'm scared.  I'm hoping it is nothing, but I cannot help but worry.  I'm also due for the full round of tests--colon, breast, blood.  None of these tests are fun (blood being the least bothersome), but all are deeply nerve wracking and fear grips me right in the solar plexis.  My mind races to the worst; unfortunately, I can see the outcome of these cancers quite vividly, as I have sat near too many bedsides of the dying.

The thing is: we all know so many people in the same situation, and we're all living in this kind of high intensity state of environmental fear.  A perpetual eco trauma. 

It is in moments like these that I don't like doing this work.  When I'm in my own personal panic, I don't want to read about nuclear radiation in Japan poisoning children and leaking into the seas, or about toxics, fracking, tar sands, deforestation, and all the rest.

I want to escape into the world of Anne of Green Gables.  I want to walk in the woods, throw off my clothes, jump into a pond of cool green water. 

Maybe that is why I send my daughter to a camp that is from another time.  They don't play competitive sports, or do computer art, or put on fancy plays, or get in buses and travel the country, or learn how to make robots. Instead, they farm,  sleep outside, swim in the lake, cook in the kitchen.  They make simple crafts in the woodshop.  They put on on a play in a barn and wear costumes cobbled together by hand.  They folk dance and sing.  They go on a canoe trips and hike up a mountain or two or three.

Oh to a more simple time I long to go!

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