It’s 12:50 on a Monday and there’s not enough time. I am not even sure what I’m late for. But, I can feel my heart beating rapidly and a fluttering sensation in my chest. The image of a heart with wings comes to mind, but my heart doesn’t feel like it’s taking flight. It feels caught. This is so familiar…lifelong familiar. When it’s strong like right now it’s hard to catch my breath and I feel afraid. I need to slow down. I need to be still. I need to remember the epiphany I had this morning as I was waking up. It had to do with time.
Before I was fully awake, I was simply conscious of being alive in the moment. I could feel the heartbeat of that moment. It was slow and rhythmic. The thought came to me, I am just where I’m supposed to be. In this time. In this place. I got out of bed and walked outside into the heat of the morning. It was supposed to hit 109 degrees by afternoon. The thought came again, I’m just where I’m supposed to be…in this time of global warming, in this time of Trump, in this fire season…and something shifted. I realized that I am living at an unprecedented moment in human history and there is nowhere else I can be. This is not just my time, it is our time. Each of us is a precious speck of human life with the capacity to remember our lives in the past, imagine what does not yet exist in the future, and make meaning of the present as each moment slips away into the next and the next. It seems even more important that we have the capacity to witness this unfolding reality and to take action, each in our own way. The consequences of our actions, as well as our inactions, will be revealed over time.
I walk outside barefooted. It’s early afternoon and the temperature gauge reads 110. There’s a hot wind blowing dry oak leaves across our brick patio. The sound is like a million tiny castanets playing their raspy tune. And I feel strangely at peace. I have no need to check my newsfeed to learn about Trump’s latest atrocity, or how close the nearest fire is to our 20 acres, or dire predictions about the presidential election just 57 days from now. What I know is I’m gonna vote for Biden/Harris, we’ve already filled two plastic bins with essentials for evacuation if it becomes necessary, and all I can do about Trump is speak my truth, mail my ballot in early, and pray he doesn’t win. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.