FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Nurture and Nature

by MISSY BEATTIE

Monday, my phone rang more than usual here in the Kingdom of Crossed Boughs and Errors.

“Mom, are you prepared?”

“Sleep in the hall bathroom, in the tub.”

“Mom, make sure your cellphone’s charged and turned on at night.” (They know I power off around 10:00 pm.)

Laura came up several times. We talked rain, wind, flooding, blizzards, and the message of this magnum opus, its scope, and global climate change.

A couple of friends emailed to say they’d made soup, comfort food. I prepared fruit stew, Bobby Flay’s red sangria (without the simple syrup). Wanted to make sure I consumed those necessary servings of oranges, apples, and berries.

Late afternoon, I walked from the kitchen to look out my bedroom window at the giant tree that lost so much of itself last time the big winds spoke. Noticed water. Inside. Entering from the top of the window, hitting the sill, and splattering. I grabbed towels and called Laura.

“Get the plastic trashcan that holds your recyclables.” I did. Setting it on the window ledge, Laura ordered a chair. I delivered. Then, we stuffed the towels at the can’s base, pushed the chair against the can, a bench against the chair. Laura pronounced it secure, temporarily.

Time for a class of that sangria.

There’s something weird about water penetrating your haven—an intrusion, invasion. I thought of the people who endure this often with few or no resources, unable to make repairs. Not just here in the US but also those in countries violated by imperialism, their lands and homes brutalized. I thought of all the people stranded, some lives changed forever, by extreme weather, and I positioned this with images of war refugees.

I emptied that container of rainwater twice before going to bed in the guestroom, away from the noisy drip, drip, drip. Got up during the night to check it. Not much water. Glanced at the clock. The worst was predicted for Baltimore around 2:00 a.m. Looking out the window, I saw gentleness, the waltz of leaves. No break dancing. I went back to bed, and lay there, troubled by the suffering, so much suffering—from both the tempest and war storming.

I turned on the radio and listened to the closings. I’d done this Sunday night and remarked to Laura that it would have been more efficient to announce what was open.

Tuesday, the Kingdom’s maintenance crew replaced caulk along an outside projection. I am so fortunate. I had just read that a Manhattan hospital’s generator failed. So did its backup. The death toll is rising. From Maine to the Carolinas, millions of people are without electricity. And while most of the focus has been on NYC, the Caribbean Islands, areas already impoverished, were battered.

I’ve seen several articles this week about “global warming”—that the oceans have warmed, providing extra energy for storms. That the Earth’s atmosphere has warmed, providing additional moisture. This is a recipe for more violent weather events.

For nature to nurture us, we must nurture it. This symbiosis is necessary for a healthy planet, peace and justice, caring for each other. Even if you’re a climate change skeptic, seems you’d say, “First, do no harm. Let’s err on the side of doing no harm.”

Gotta go. One of the children wants to talk.

Missy Beattie is busy in Baltimore.  Email:  missybeat@gmail.com

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
Murray Dobbin
Is Trudeau Ready for a Middle East war?
Jeiddy Martínez Armas
Firearm Democracy
Jill Richardson
Washington’s War on Poor Grad Students
Ralph Nader
The Rule of Power Over the Rule of Law
Justin O'Hagan
Capitalism Equals Peace?
Matthew Stevenson
Into Africa: From the Red Sea to Nairobi
Geoff Dutton
The Company We Sadly Keep
Evan Jones
The Censorship of Jacques Sapir, French Dissident
Linn Washington Jr.
Meek Moment Triggers Demands for Justice Reform
Gerry Brown
TPP, Indo Pacific, QUAD: What’s Next to Contain China’s Rise?
Robert Fisk
The Exile of Saad Hariri
Romana Rubeo - Ramzy Baroud
Anti-BDS Laws and Pro-Israeli Parliament: Zionist Hasbara is Winning in Italy
Robert J. Burrowes
Why are Police in the USA so Terrified?
Chuck Collins
Stop Talking About ‘Winners and Losers’ From Corporate Tax Cuts
Ron Jacobs
Private Property Does Not Equal Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Mass Shootings, Male Toxicity and their Roots in Agriculture
Binoy Kampmark
The Fordist Academic
Frank Scott
Weapons of Mass Distraction Get More Destructive
Missy Comley Beattie
Big Dick Diplomacy
Michael Doliner
Democracy, Real Life Acting and the Movies
Dan Bacher
Jerry Brown tells indigenous protesters in Bonn, ‘Let’s put you in the ground’
Winslow Myers
The Madness of Deterrence
Cesar Chelala
A Kiss is Not a Kiss: Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
Jimmy Centeno
Garcia Meets Guayasamin: A De-Colonial Experience
Stephen Martin
When Boot Becomes Bot: Surplus Population and The Human Face.
Martin Billheimer
Homer’s Iliad, la primera nota roja
Louis Proyect
Once There Were Strong Men
Charles R. Larson
Review: Mike McCormack’s Solar Bones
David Yearsley
Academics Take Flight
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail