The life blood of a blue planet

As fires ravage the west coast…we pray for rain. In India, Africa, and Asia droughts and lack of rain parch the lands, and wells and reservoirs are going dry.

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Our aquifers are being depleted at alarming, no…terrifying! rates. And while the recharge (refill) rates vary…most of the large aquifers now being drained to sustain farming, mining, and industry, and support cities in arid western states…need centuries to recharge. 21 of the 37 largest aquifers on our tiny blue planet are being drained at unsustainable rates. Considering that they are the sole source of life sustaining fresh water for hundreds of millions of humans, that we have stressed them beyond the tipping point…where our demand exceeds their ability to be renewed…there is no time to spare in resolving this.

And there is no outcry. The problem perhaps is that “the problem” can’t be seen. It isn’t as easily evident as dried up reservoirs and forests burning due to drought. Big businesses demand their “right” to use as much water as required for their stockholders to continue to make huge profits. When the water is gone…what then?

Water stuck closer to home for me this week. A family not far from where I live have hit some hard times…it happens in these uncertain days more than ever before.  A big family, an unexpected baby girl eight years after the youngest of the five boys, and not enough money to keep the water turned on. That happens in poor neighborhoods all across America. Not expected in middle class suburbia, is it?  People surprised and saddened me with their lack of compassion. The family tries to hide their problem because other children make fun of their boys. I stopped over today and got a car load of big containers and jugs which I refilled at my house and returned to them under the cover of night…when judgmental eyes might not see. A routine thing, three or four times a week. Not noteworthy in any regard save that a simple act of kindness as a neighbor should need to be hidden.

They have worked out a payment arrangement with the water company…another few weeks and their water will be restored…but how sad people turn away from need, instead of reaching out to one another.

Water shouldn’t be beyond the reach of everyone in this country. In a perfect world, where humans cared more about other living beings and less about possessions, would we not, each and every one, strive for the best for all and not only for ourselves?

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Such a small, fragile world made all the more remarkable for the blessing of abundant water. If a few jugs of water makes such a difference, imagine the loss when the source of that precious water is gone.

We have to find a better way, world. While we still can.

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Dreaming of Dragons

The story I am writing now has a version, I suppose, of dragons.  It wasn’t MY plan…but then my protagonists rarely listen to what I think the story should be, lol. Dragons they wanted, dragons there must be.

Now I am well into the story, and the more I write of their drachen (dragons) the more I am enjoying reading and discovering the dragons of other lore. Amazing how this one creature…in such a myriad of forms and purposes…survives in so many vastly divergent cultures all across the world.

This one caught my attention…in part because the name…The Rainbow Serpent…is so children’s fantasy, but this is no sweet Puff.  Aido Hwedo is the Serpent of the World, a part of the Dahomey creation mythology. Related image

Shenlong  caught my attention because the story rather reminded me of the Thunderbirds of Native American mythology.  Shenlong is the master of storms, clouds, and the bringer of rain in Chinese mythology. Related image

Apophis or Apep was the ancient Egyptian dragon…the god of Chaos who ‘sweeps away’ the world of men.  Image result for Apophis dragon

And lest fire get all the attention the diety of the ocean and all its power was attributed to Ryūjin, the sea dragon of Japanese mythology.   Image result for Ryūjin dragon

My drachen, it seems, may aspire to some rather lofty relations.

Remember the good times…

This weekend my husband and I would have celebrated our anniversary…hard to believe he has been gone so long.  Over five years. Cancer is a hard thing, but it isn’t the cancer we choose to remember.

We remember that he always…seriously ALWAYS…forgot our anniversary.  Thankfully, he knew this about himself. He had his secretary remind him…it was on his calendar, after all…and when he moved to a career without a secretary, by then the older girls took over the task.  It actually never bothered me in the least. I knew when it was, and the fact we had made it another year was the only gift required. We did tease him endlessly about it, though. 😀

The younger kids remember he was ‘plushy’ and how much they loved cuddling on his lap and watching horrible tv and movies and bad wrestling shows.  What made it special was that he knew it was all horrible…that was what made it so much fun. Toxic Avenger, grade D movies (Tremors,  Attack of the Killer Tomatoes)… it became a staple item in the kids’ lives…one their friends still remember and celebrate on his birthday each year.

His passion for food!  (I did mention he was ‘plushy’, remember?)  We celebrated our anniversary with food. Either he took me out for seafood or chinese (my favorites) or I made him moussaka or lasagna (his favorites) …usually both…one for each night of the anniversary weekend.

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He snored!  OMG, the man snored like a jet revving for take off.  It became a bit of a joke at the Fair each year with the families in our 4H campground.  And the adjoining campgrounds… 😀

He laughed a lot. Cheated at games…and he loved games…and swore that it was ‘strategy’…and developed a game-winning ‘killer’ attitude in the girls. I don’t play games with them, lol. Except maybe scrabble or dominoes…can’t cheat at those 😉

Today was a good day. There was a gorgeous rainbow right over the river bridge that seemed to reach from the sea right down to our house. It made me smile.  I think that was David, reminding me to do that.  And when we think of him, we always do.

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Dream a little dream…

A different day today…a different expression of what my life is all about…of what I aspire to. What I dream, for myself.

Today I was brave.

I hit ‘send’ on my laptop and sent a query for my epic fantasy off into the world. Scary stuff, that. So many hours, months, years invested in this story. So much love, tears, hope, doubt.

OMG! It’s like raising kids! lol

And after I hit the button, had my moment of panic, then a deep breath because wow! I did it! What next?  Ah, the decisions that pull at my writerly heart…which story is next?

I always have a couple going…sometimes more.  I need to get back to work on the follow up book for this one. Just in case, you know.

I want to finish the eco-punk fantasy I have been working on along with this one for the last year. It is about half written, which pushes it to the top of the list.  Git ‘er done.

Tonight, I gaze at the gorgeous moon. Revel in the moonlight and the scent of rain promised on the wind. I watch the bats dance above the street, sweet darlings of the air, nomming on all those pesky southern bugs.

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And I am thankful.

For days such as this, nights so sweet, and the gift of words which fill my life with magic.

I am so blessed.

What are you thankful for?

Marsh Memories

Driving over the Cosgrove tonight and the tide was out and the wonderful scent of pluff mud and coastal marsh swept through the car.  Every year when my grandma came to see us she would tell me how she disliked that smell. To her it smelled like ~something died~ to me it smells like the renewal of life.

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These coastal marshes teem with life. Small crustaceans, crabs, shrimp, fish, wading birds, plants, trees, and the teeming abundance of the waters.  The health of the marsh is a good indicator of the health of adjacent ecosystems.

photo by Bob Hider

Driving or strolling the boardwalks along the edges of these wetlands is an unending source of joy, appreciation, and inspiration.

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Pluff mud and Lowcountry marsh….smells like home.

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Shine on Harvest Moon

The moon is full…it was breathtaking last night…Harvest Moon 2017

…..even more so as we were walking tonight… 

Aedin glanced up, caught a glimpse through the trees and stopped in his tracks. A few strides further and it revealed itself, full, golden, ripe with the promise of autumn.

A blessing to share such moments. They imprint beauty into our souls.

 

 

From the mouths of…princesses?

Today we took our 3 yr old “Disney Princess in training” to the park. An excellent plan for a warm, breezy Lowcountry October day. She ran, swang, turned the playhouses into her castles, and doctor clinic (she may be a princess…but she has plans for being a very helpful and busy princess), and of course…Moana’s outrigger, because she had lost Māui and as soon as we found his hook he’d be right back.

The simple joys of childlike wonder and imagination.

She went down to examine the pond…a green bit of marsh filled with the aquatic wonders of the south…fish, crawdads, turtles, and, of course, the occasional alligator.  She was certain, as Moana AND a Princess, she ‘needed’ to go right up to the edge and order Māui out of there. Removal of princess from the pond resulted in the obligatory,  very dramatic sobbing. When asked what she was crying about she looked up with wide eyes and explained: “I am heartbroken. YOU have…BROKEN…my heart.”

It was all I could do not to laugh. So serious.  THIS is a Princess growing before our very eyes into a world class Drama Queen.

Ah childhood…wouldn’t miss these moments for the world.