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Monday Photo Meditation: To Green the Earth Again

July 2nd, and the earth here is browning fast. Each day the mercury exceeds ninety; each day the wind rises; and each day, the thunderheads mock us from behind a veil of smoke from wildfires too close for real comfort.

There is no water and no rain; precious little green remains. The ditches have been closed at the reservoir to route water directly to the old village; those who live further out from the center, like us, are out of luck.

We are also, all of us, fast running out of time.

Last year’s garden was destroyed by a late-season gale, hail so large and so fierce that it shredded the corn’s very stalks into silk. This year, we will be lucky if anything emerges to survive the drought. Most remains unplanted, because it is simply too hot and dry to place vulnerable seeds in an earth that feels more like ash and bone, no fertile womb here but a cradle of dust.

The fires rage uncontained; the winds shift to their own arbitrary rhythms, sending the oppressive haze back to choke our lungs at the very moment we were so foolish as to believe we had escaped. The thunderheads build now on all sides, proffering what experience now tells us is false hope, and yet hope we still do.

And so, rather than meditate upon our browning world today, perhaps contemplating what could be, what this time of year should, what will be if only the forces and spirits who command such things smile upon us — perhaps that is a better use of our time.

Which explains why I have chosen this image to begin the week: the small falls of the Río Lucero, the flow that in a good year fills our ditches and sends our pond overflowing its now-dry banks, dashing, tumbling, hurtling joyously downward between banks lined with lush emerald-green overgrowth. Perhaps meditating on what should be, appreciating its cold chill rapids amid gradations of green that now seem positively electric — perhaps this will convince the powers and forces that be that we do notice their gifts, do count our blessings, do give thanks after all.

And perhaps they will be moved to send the rains, to loose the waters, to green the earth again, to defy the drought before it claims us all.

But time is short and luck in short supply. We cannot depend on hope, or faith, or even prayer.

It’s time to get to work.

~ Aji








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