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September 2021: Extreme Weather Coupled with Covid-19 Delta Emergency Creates Adversity in our Fall Season

Coping with Adversity

We are haunted and hunted by weather conditions that defy and deny normalcy; normalcy no longer exists and we are stunned by the immediacy of events. We are thrust into an altered reality that immediately becomes a new norm. We have been warned.

We have been paralyzed in the West by vicious wildfires that devour everything in their paths as dried-out brush and terrain due to ongoing drought create a massive fuel supply.

Nothing and no one are spared. 

We have witnessed catastrophic flash floods in the Northeast, New York, and New Jersey as climate disaster slams our psyches with visceral images. Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc on Pennsylvania and Connecticut, leaving death in its wake.

We read about the horrific deaths in NY basement apartments, where individuals were trapped, drowning almost instantly in the rush of water, with a moment of consciousness, as they knew there was no way to escape. Low-income rentals, not up to code and sometimes illegally created, crushed immigrants and others who needed cheap rent.

NY Subways were flooded and became unusable. Power outages became the new norm. Individuals have died in the heat without air conditioning and lack of refrigeration.

How do we not become discouraged and helpless? That is my question. How do we cope with the onslaught of these climate disasters; how do we respond internally?

I wanted to share a post from Kyle Lemle:

I don’t want to hear you complain about the smoke. I want to hear how angry you are at the 100 companies responsible for polluting the atmosphere, desecrating our rivers, buying out our elected leaders because of greed.

I don’t want to hear about your plans to go to the east coast for fire season, or to leave California altogether because it’s just too painful. I want to see you outraged that this is the world we are inheriting, disgusted how oil and gas continues burning to power our opulent lifestyles, even when clean and renewable technology is ready to be deployed at scale. I want you to know that escaping is a privilege not held by billions of people, billions of animals.

I want you to ask how the birds must be doing when their feeding shorelines are battered, when their nests fall from broken trees, when they are forced to fly through miles and miles of smoke from hundreds of burning fires, the largest fires the world has ever seen, wondering did the birds burn too?

Let’s be angry, my people. Let’s be outraged. Let’s feel the gravity of this moment. Let’s grieve together. Let’s be non-compliant, non-complicit. This is . How many fires, how many hurricanes, how many animals, people must die before we wake up, this is not going away, it’s getting worse, and there are people and institutions responsible.

This is not your inconvenience. This is our collective inheritance and collective responsibility to use every gift at our disposal to cause less harm, cause fewer deaths, make more life. Channel that sacred rage now, ask what you can do. If you have time, give it. If you have money, donate it. If you have skill offer it. There is a role for YOU in bringing balance to our world.

Creative Coping Strategies

Meanwhile, Covid-19 Delta variant cases surge as hospitals are overwhelmed. Teens, teachers, and young people who can’t be vaccinated yet are falling prey.

How are you responding to the fear as we enter a dark time yet again? We thought the summer brought freedom and hope, yet we are now in dark times again.

As I stated in another blog: The world is not safe so how can we feel safe?

What are specific actions we can take in this climate crisis? We must find action items small and large.

I have suggested creativity as an antidote. Can we find our moment; find our bliss, in spite of the onslaught of challenging news?

Can we embrace our discipline to write, weave, color, draw, paint, finding our way to our moment? As we create, we find our own unique form of liberation and we are free!

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