Here we are many weeks into one of the strangest situations any of us could have imagined. We have been deprived of our normal contact with each other at every level, driven into uncertainty in ways with which we are unfamiliar, left sleepless with dread about what comes next, and are meeting each day with a growing fear we may not be able to return to life as we left it such a short time ago. All of this is beginning to feel surreal. And yet……. here we are.
Maybe you are like me in that you are beginning to think about what needs to change when we get back together. That is a disturbing thought, mostly because I do not feel equipped to define what that should look like. Furthermore, I don’t trust anyone else is either. Soooo…. this is too much. Let’s just go back to a few months ago.
The grackles are back. We are happy to see them. Throughout the day they come and go, taking baths in the fountain in our front courtyard. They always look perfectly dressed for any social occasion. In the evenings they gather in a tall, dense evergreen tree just beyond our backyard fence chattering loudly to each other before roosting. They have a lot to say and they could care less who hears them. They like being in the middle of things here in the heart of Albuquerque. They are very social with each other and with their human neighbors. They are one of the more intelligent birds joining the ranks of magpies, ravens, and crows. Completely black with golden eyes, their feathers shine and reflect shimmering colors in the sunlight. Their most unusual behavior is to lift their heads toward the sky while perched. However, they do not sit still for long. They love to fly.
There is a large area of irrigated fields near where we and our neighbors live, commonly called The Open Space. Acres of corn and maize are raised and harvested there every year. It is open to the public for walking, jogging, biking, horseback riding and photography along the wide dirt roads between the fields. These fields provide a safe resting and feeding place for migratory foul such as Canadian geese and sandhill cranes. We are very fortunate to have easy access to such a wonderful place. I personally am drawn to the sandhill cranes. They are tall, sleek, and graceful birds designed by nature for the sky. In addition, the slow approach and formation of drag, near and within ground effect as they land, is amazing to watch and the development of lift as they launch from the grain fields demonstrates what the desire for flight is all about. Without question, humans have taken their lead from such creatures in the successful effort to lift themselves into the space above and beyond the earth.
Ok, that’s enough avoidance. Where do we go from here? How should we reconstruct the space between us? Who do we trust to define it?
The answers may not be very clear at the moment, however, the methods for moving forward have a long history. We have always found our way, right or wrong, together. The space between us is deceptive. The degree of separateness is an illusion. We are in this strange time together more than we are alone. Beyond that, we of the present age did not arrive here on our own but owe a deep acknowledgement to those upon whose shoulders we stand. And, if that weren’t enough, those who come after us are greatly dependent upon us to make good choices about the world we are about to leave them. What should that new world look like? Well, you and I are not sure at this moment, however, can we agree to put it together based upon as much consideration for each other as is needed for securing our future?