Courtesy Mark Hirsch
Walking along the bay early this morning, I looked up into the beautiful old live oak trees, dripping with lacy mosses which usually lilt in even the smallest breath of air. There is no movement in the trees, nor a ripple on the water. The egrets usually wading aren't around and the alligator must be hidden in the cooler grasses. It's the hottest June I can remember.
That thought sent my mind on a wild trip bouncing between today and forty years ago. We are experiencing global climate change. Methane gases bursting bubbles in the arctic. We are messing with abortion rights. We are witnessing Big Brother in action, Watergate on a grand scale. We have oil spills killing off marine life and kids' playgrounds quarantined, schools closing and the elderly and poor suffering. Our food is being chemically produced with unknown consequences, and we are constantly fighting amongst ourselves over guns, gays, religion and politics and with many other parts of the world in wars I don't even understand.
I am wondering what happened, where we went wrong. We were protesting Vietnam, sitting in to object to the atrocities at Kent State. We believed in peace. We had communes where we grew our food and had a barter system for things we didn't have. We drove vehicles that when we pooled our funds, two bucks took us anywhere we needed to go, and back. We fought for our rights with Roe v Wade and took abortions out of dirty alleys and into sterile environments.
I remember when the automakers were told to make smaller cars that used less gas and now there are Suburbans and Hummers and F-350s. And these aren't military vehicles or cow haulers or school vans, these go three blocks to the grocery store and use what we called a weeks worth of gas. We have a pizza magnate living in a 40,000-square-foot mansion who refuses to give his employees the smallest in health benefits. A politician against abortions because fetuses masturbate. A kill off of bees by chemicals to produce more food, yet we throw away 40 percent of what we have in our refrigerators now.
I was walking along the bay, as I do nearly every day, just over seven miles, to think about what we have done or should have done or should be doing. I wanted to save the world. I want my grandson to live in peace. I never knew I had to worry about the population of bees. I thought that was a given, as was safe drinking water. I want to trust my fellow man to make responsible decisions, just as I am trying to do for him. All of the rights I fought for are valid. I want to maintain those rights. And when I walk under the old oak tree, I would love to see lacy lilting moss dancing to a breeze of cool air and laugh to myself as I hum an old Crosby Stills and Nash tune, from a day when I thought I knew everything.