(Originally posted to www.katethoughts.blogspot.com on 8.24.06)
Remember the post about the closing of the forest? Well, it's open now. We've had rain.
I mean RAIN!
The data I've found so far shows that all of this year's rainfall (every day) is setting records. If I'm reading it correctly, one map on Wunderground proves that. Last year's rainfall doesn't even show for most days because there wasn't any.
This year the state is experiencing flooding in places that haven't seen water in years. People are being driven from homes
in low-lying areas, entire villages were temporarily cut off from the
rest of the world because their roads were washed out or covered in
rocks/boulders washed down from above. Thankfully, crews get on that
sort of thing quickly here.
Ruidoso has been fairly lucky unless you live in a couple of trailer parks near the river (which is actually a river now, and not just a tiny creek). And when we consider tsunamis and hurricanes and broken levees, then Ruidoso is not unlike living in heaven.
I said all of that, to say this...
When we step WAY back and get a little perspective, is there not some global balance in all of this? Is that too long a view? Can I be compassionate about the individuals who suffer from weather catastrophies and famine and wars and still remain spiritually in balance and aware of a 'bigger' balance? Does the bigger balance really exist?
I think so.
Those of you who garden might understand this analogy.
Things die in your garden: bugs or disease attack the roses, the neighbor's dog digs up the petunias, your gutter overflowed last summer and drowned the whatever...
Do you still have a nice garden? Don't
you still enjoy it? Isn't it still the place you go for solace, for
something to nurture, for some quiet time and a sense of 'getting back
to the earth'?
Have you ever experienced these events or conditions and thought, 'wow, god is out to get me', or 'I guess I'm not supposed to have a garden', or 'what am I doing wrong'?
I think of things like this. And I wonder if I have any compassion at all, sometimes.
I read the stories of real famine in SO many parts of the world, places that have no soil, no rain, no systems of irrigation, where generations have survived on the edge of starvation. I think of the thousands of truckloads of food and supplies that have been sent, with no real change whatsoever in the number of people still starving. In fact, the numbers seem to be actually growing. I've just spent about an hour 'googling' world hunger, starving populations, statistics on death by malnutrition, etc. The numbers are stagering. One article says 852 million people across the world are hungry, up from 842 million a year ago: a 10,000,000 (that's ten MILLION) increase in 1 year. I think of hungry little girls hanging on to mom, who have grown up to be hungry mothers holding on to their sweet little hungry children. And I think of the cantalope that I forgot, and let spoil, and threw out yesterday....
There are literally hundreds of organizations whose purpose is to feed hungry people. Why are the numbers growing?
I'm just asking...
Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. Is it the answer? I don't know; certainly, maybe ONE of the answers. It makes sense to me.
Can I find my compassion? What do I do with it?
I give things to my local food bank. I don't give anything to organizations trying to address hunger in areas that cannot support food production where the people are. I'll donate to buy a goat or dig a well...
Sometimes I think I'm really cold-cold-cold.
Sometimes I think like Daniel: when the food supply diminishes the population of the animals/humans who eat that food diminishes - as it should. As it does in all other animal species.
I'm just asking...