So I wake to the sound of a crowing rooster and the online news that (yet more) people died in a tornado in the Southeastern USA (where the report says the tornadoes have been getting stronger). Plus, the intense weather is heading towards Metro Atlanta (where I live). I think of my husband, my mother, my garden. Every day, there is another weather disaster somewhere, it seems. I pray it doesn’t hit home.
There’s an Opinion piece in The New York Times about the disappearing Great Salt Lake and the release of mercury, arsenic and much more into the atmosphere. It’s a stunningly reported and told story titled I Am Haunted by What I Have Seen at Great Salt Lake. I am going there during Round America with a Duck. I don’t know what more I can add to Terry Tempest Williams’ coverage or Fazel Sheikh’s photos but we shall see.
I continue to follow the truly disturbing TikTok-ban story and hear the ever-growing rage of half of America (not a red half or a blue half but the TikTok half, connected across ages, genders, socioeconomics and interests in ways that have already changed the world in many positive ways unlike anything I’ve ever seen coming out of Washington, DC in my 59 years of life). I see the quote from that North Carolina representative to Congress when he asked the Harvard-educated TikTok CEO if TikTok is connected to the WiFi. Yes. Yes, he asked that. Even AOC sounds clunky on her first TikTok ever. These folks don’t get it (although maybe she’ll catch up).
I’m in North Carolina right now, in a trailer on forty acres of land at the end of a unpaved dead-end road. I say good morning to the cows and goats. I let the chickens out, gather their already-Easter-colored-eggs and lock them in safe from predators at night. I carry the eggs inside carefully. They are fragile.
I ride my bike on the gravel with a dog named Peanut who runs beside me, which fills my heart with so much simple pleasure I’d call it a new core memory.
I do yoga in the swaying golden grains in the old tobacco field. I plant a plum tree and seeds for harvests I’ll never see, as I’ll already be on to other parts of the USA while traveling Round America with a Duck, and whatever’s after that for me (God-willing).
Yet, planting that tree and seeds are the ultimate acts of faith in the future, and right now, right here, I need to believe in that. Because everything we have and are is so, so fragile right now.
And so I plan to plant a tree every day I’m here. Because if there’s one thing I need, you need, the 150 million Americans with voice, connection, community, small businesses, and yes, even simple pleasures (including joy as an act of resistance) on TikTok need right now, it’s faith in our future in this country-at-a-crossroads and world-in-crisis. Because Washington is not giving us that. And we — you, me, Peanut and the ducks — are the only things I see moving forward.