We got our first storm in what seemed like forever the other day. It was well past due. The Southern Ecuadorian Andes rely on a steady diet of rain, but this season has been parched by the weather phenomenon known as La Niña. Many of the family farmers that we rely on to produce our vegetables depend on the fickle nature of rain, but that means nothing to the land, withered and weary of swirling dust and baking sun. Wrinkled buds and tender shoots were sacrificed many days ago; tired farmers must again bend to the task of starting over.
Fortunately, the recent rain will allow surviving fish to return to their familiar river bends to spawn and little critters, having mourned their dead, will return to foraging in the meadows. Grass will sprout anew, and flocks of birds will sing to one another as flowers, vibrant as a Kodachrome, will awaken, their long wait over.
But, what of us, the people? We too live on this land that has long been parched. Ritual gatherings and seasonal expectations can no longer be taken for granted, nor can the bonds we have formed over a lifetime. It is time to adjust our desires without the determination of the blind, believing that the thrill of togetherness legitimizes creating an environment more dangerous than a room of broken glass..
It is staggeringly irresponsible to gamble with the lives of our loved ones while in the throes of wishful thinking. Adjusting our way of living is certainly preferable to risking the loss of a loved one and, afterward, enduring the pain of a careless decisions.
I know of desperation, of hope stretched thin, tight as a drum. I also know we can develop new habits — and habitats for hosting our friends and families, such as the safe harbor of home.
It is time for us to pick up our trowels and plant new hybrids of communion using budding technology; it is time to germinate fresh ideas and accept that our patience will, in time, be rewarded with a cornucopia of thanksgiving. It is not the time for insistence on recreating a Norman Rockwell illustration that is only an illusion.
Bygone days have faded like the image on a daguerreotype while the contours of a new morning slowly materialize.
Change is almost always good for it allows creative energy and innovation to blossom. Toiling in the fields of learning – and embracing – new and innovative means of communication today will help fertilize the future.
Attending to the responsibilities required to enrich the deep-roots of love towards others will, with good fortune and an abundance of rain, produce the bountiful harvest we are all so anxious for.