The sun is summer high, having drifted almost as far north as it will go, and the day will be hot. The sky is streaked with light clouds, promising increasing humidity. After only a couple of days of dry weather the garden looks thirsty.
Perhaps a sign of the times: last night I dreamt I was one of a large group of people about to be detained by the government. We were shopping in a large department store and government agents were guarding all the exits; the agents were Russian.
There is presently a tendency for politicians of most ilks, in the English-speaking world, to favor the preferences of a few extraordinarily wealthy people over the needs of the many. The scope and pace of that project are accelerating, and one need look no further than the opiate epidemic impacting our communities to see that poverty of spirit is as much of an issue as economic disparity.
There has long been tension in society between political expediency and the needs of the populace and the natural world. We humans find ourselves in a grande, repeating cycle of remembering and forgetting that the well-being of all the people and of Nature are closely tied to the fate of clans, tribes, and nations. Yet, even in times of forgetting there are folks who remember and they are the seeds of renewal. Still, such moments in history can be rife with conflict and danger, and seldom end well.
How are to keep in mind the long arc of right action when our news cycle is about twelve seconds? We can slow down and take refuge in wilderness; when we cannot physically travel into wild lands, we can remember that the Pure Land also dwells with us. When we journey into Nature, we may find connection to the vastness of things, and the possibility of healing and renewal. Returning from such journeys, we may encounter the everyday world with more compassion, humor, and patience, knowing we can only do what we are able, and that correcting our relationship to one another and the world, is a collective project.