January 23, 2014

An Infinite Loop of Sunshine.

A wisp of a cloud in the blue sky is like a whispered kiss on my ear.

I anticipate the rain drops just as I want another kiss that will turn into a downpour of loving—but it is just one soft kiss.

And the cloud is just one soft cloud; simply a tease on a late January day in northern California.

Blue skies with an infinite loop of sunshine.

Glorious weather from a distance, but here, we feel uneasy.

It is a drought year.

We can discuss the facts: driest year since 1895, no rain for 48 consecutive days (in Sacramento), the extended high pressure ridge over the eastern Pacific and the inevitable sense that this is climate change.

We can discuss the facts, and then step outside—sift the dry loamy soil through our fingertips, feel the sunshine on our face and see the fading fuzz of green under the golden grasses.

The surrounding hills should be covered in green, worms should be wiggling along damp sidewalks where we jump in puddles on our walk to school.

Yet, we are stuck in this infinite loop of sunshine.

I know that it’s ridiculous for a Californian to lament the beautiful weather, especially after spending 10 winters in western New York. I know cold. I know bundling my baby in layers (so his little feet would sweat) before heading out the door. I know shoveling, scraping ice off the windows and driving through white outs.

On those negative degree mornings, I longed for these days and nights of warmth of my childhood in northern California. Now that I’ve returned home (my first winter in the Sacramento Valley since 1998) I am a bit stunned because this type of winter is not winter—even for California.

This winter is just wrong.

I believe we, humans, need to feel the shift in the seasons. Even though Californians don’t have a “real” winter, we have grown used to slowing down when the rains come.

We need time for “hibernation” behind a veil of rain.

We do better with moments curled up on the couch inside our homes as a storm blows over.

We are not meant to always live in an infinite loop of sunshine, or at least, I’m not. I need winter. I imagine the wild life, worms, oaks and redwoods feel the same.

I long for a downpour, puddle jumping and that sweet smell of damp soil.

I am not alone. Californians have become restless, which added with crankiness equals a strange demeanor—frowns. Seriously, there’s a general sense of being uncomfortable about this un-winter.

The “idea” of climate change is no longer a hypothesis; climate change is a reality for us (just look at the above picture from NASA). We feel the urgency in which we have to adjust our habits because climate change is happening. It’s unsettling because we can’t do anything to create an immediate fix—we are forced to deal with this infinite loop of sunshine.

Yet, here’s the take away—I stumbled upon it the other day while watching a guy watering (washing down) the sidewalks—we are faced with a dramatic shift, but it’s up to us about how we choose to react.

Sure, we can get mad at the senseless acts of water usage, or we can find ways to work together in this uncomfortable beginning of a whole new climate of communication.

Yes, the climate is changing, but let’s remember to change, too.

Let’s not be angry, but build up ways to reduce our water usage. Let’s listen, not find fault with others.

Let’s do this climate change with grace: using words thoughtfully and actions mindfully.

Remember, we are all just one drop in the ocean of life.

As for now, I’ll keep up my little prayers, rain dances and hopes for a down pour. I am ready to go jump in some puddles.

Aren’t you?

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo Credit: NASA






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