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“See?” Day Two, Earth Week: Seven Reasons for Hope

April 21, 2015

m eye


We look into the future

Troubled by what we see

and don’t see

there, for ourselves

for our children and grandchildren

and the seven seven seven generations beyond.

On this count

be not troubled. Or not overly so.

Keep the faith and grow your sense of hope

with each breath

that rises

then falls

with each seed that breaks open

then rises

then falls

Sure things

against every odd.

Imagine being, before Being

some billions of years ago (plus or minus)

poised on the lip

of the first silence


Seeing NoThing

Darkness only

so consuming

even Time is folded into its crenelations

An Ouroboros

curled feverishly in upon itself.

From this NoThere

could you have predicted what was to come?

The Fire, then the disremembered elements hurled into being, then the infinite suns, circled by icy or burning or dry worlds innumerable, then the water, then the green, growing, writhing, knowing

Life under this this blue sky? THIS one!

Look up.

Could you have seen it?

Didn’t think so.

But it did.

The impossible takes a little while.

Laugh. Cry. Love. Lean into the work. Don’t despair.

Did I mention love?

Life wants this … even more than you.

In fact, it invited you to be exactly where you are

to stand Here

peering into the dark of the future

making Way

making light

of it all.



Day One, Earth Week: Seven Reasons for Hope

I’m going to try to write briefly each day this week, Seth Godin-style, offering a reason why we should be hopeful about the state of the Earth, and its future, and ours.


What do you see here?

moss at base

Aha, more green at the base of the cart return.

I was in the parking lot of Kroger’s in Troutville after work on Friday, noticed that bright clump of green at the base of the light pole, as I loaded my groceries, and began to nose about a bit. I noted the wet asphalt spotting the pavement. I knew it had rained the day before, but not today, and it seemed like too much water and too localized to this area to be just leftover from the previous day.  Walking around, peering between cars, ignoring the puzzled glances of passerby (I’m used to them) I gradually picked up the sense that there was significant ground water seeping up from below various areas of the parking lot.

The seeps from a few places in a 20 foot radius, join up and run into this little channel future stream1 and then flow towards a drain down at the bottom of the lot. If you look carefully in the upper right hand quadrant of the picture,

Someday, I'll be a real rill.

Someday, I’ll be a real rill.

you can see where the action of the water has begun to wear the surface, grain by grain, carving a small, coarse proto-bed for the stream that wants to emerge. (You can double click on the picture for more detail.)

“The Force of Water,” we sometimes say, when we speak of true Power. “Nothing softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it,” said Lao Tzu. Make no mistake, that little tiny ripple has the intent, the will, the capacity and the patience, to carry this entire joint into the Atlantic.

Sure, these little insurrections will be repaired at some point, paved over, again and again. But still, (barring a long term climatic shift towards drought,) this stream will rise. Still this stream will rise. Long after the building and maybe the people, and certainly you and I, are gone, this stream will flow. The little plants at the base of the light post will grow to trees in turn and pull the concrete and metal back down to rest against the earth. The moss will open channels for water and soil and seed to lodge underneath the pavement and turn it over as surely as a moldboard plow making a row. Every time has its sense of permanence and finality, but in the end, we are Ozymandias’, all.

There are many things in the world, mostly hidden, only some revealed. There are energies of water, of love, of spirit that lay concealed beneath, or perhaps are interwoven with, the thin veneer that we commonly perceive as reality. They emerge when the time is ripe. When the time is ripe, they will rise.

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