Wake-up Call from Mother Nature. For the Millionth Time.

sunset 010

I haven’t missed a blog posting in over five and a half years, and I won’t now, but this one will be different.

In case you can’t tell, I love this little farm. I didn’t end up here because it was my first choice. It was more a process of elimination. My life came apart and coming here was the least bad choice. This was the farm I could afford; the one I could make work. I settled.

I’ve had years now to find the precious parts of this prairie just one miracle after another–bird by bird, by wildflower, by sunset, by wind-blown grass, by moon-shine night sky. The beauty of this prairie still surprises me with something sweeter and more dear every day. It’s a love forged by drought and wind, not prone to superficial fancies. A love as plain and diverse as the prairie. This earth owns me; it could never be the other way around.

Last night, as I was doing chores, I watched NextEra Energy trucks dump huge power poles on the property west of mine, with a metal clang that scattered horses in all directions. Property perimeters were cut and gates installed so construction vehicles can drive through planting high power lines like a huge fence across the horizon, between me and my sunset.

Then the rains began. We’ve had substantially more pond floods in this one season than all the previous years here, but last night was different. Flash flood! The pond crested with such fury that the south retaining wall of the drainage canal was torn apart instantly and took the fence with it. In moments the pasture had only one small island of soil and the llamas held that patch of high ground, unable to get back to the barn. It was dusk as the water rushed between the barn and house, pulling wheel barrows, wooden pallets, and water tanks along in its wake. At one point the torrent pushed open the door to the tack room and garage. The horses were in the barn but I couldn’t see them; couldn’t get to them. There was only black water in all directions.

Two hours later, the flood began receding, and wading through water deeper than my boots, I got hay to everyone. We are all safe. The damage was done and the warning delivered; there are forces stronger than human. I have perception enough to know this little disaster is invisible, insignificant compared to the daily global destruction that we turn a blind eye toward.

Again, we are all safe. Very thankfully safe.

Maybe I’ve gone simple since turning sixty. Maybe my own mortality colors the world a bit more precious every moment, but I’m knocked back with the impossible wonder and beauty around me. It leaves me a little more breathless every day.

We don’t deserve this planet. We aren’t good enough.

We use our intellect to whine about our tiny lives and we miss the glory. We’re so busy trying to control it and bend it to our wishes, that we miss the big picture. So busy taking what we think we deserve, that we forget to clean up our mess and say thank you. We think it’s our planet to trash and destroy because we have opposable thumbs. We are terminally arrogant and stupid.

Worst of all, we don’t trust our own common sense to do the math. We don’t let ourselves see the tendencies changing, instead we think each incident is a random coincidence.

There’s enough blame to go around–it’s just the cost of doing business. Corporations and politicians stupid enough to think they can vote climate change down. Jacked-up junkie enough to think all growth and industry is good, no matter who pays. No matter what is lost in the process.

When does it get personal enough? We see photos of polar bears on ice flows but fear keeps its distance, even as scientists tell us how far gone our beautiful planet is already. But in your wildest dreams, can you imagine that horses can survive a fraction of what polar bears can?

Anna Blake, Infinity Farm.

44 thoughts on “Wake-up Call from Mother Nature. For the Millionth Time.

  1. Paula Romanow

    Thank you saying what I’ve been feeling for quite some time now, Anna. SO glad everyone is safe.

  2. Lor

    Beautifully said; sobering. I do make a point of not missing the joy in life and the wonder in all my lovely animals. I do that daily, because you never know when it will be the last.

  3. My heart aches, and then my hackles rise every time you mention this power line. As someone who has learned to feel one with their surroundings, it rankles me to no end that this visual intrusion is going to slice it’s way across your horizon. Not to mention the noise and irritation of the installment fiasco. And when that insult comes to an end, you’ll be left to live with a cat’s cradle of ugly cables that watch your every move and fracture a pristine view. A lot of people don’t get the peace of a visual panorama. They don’t appreciate it, don’t even realize they need it. But to have had it and lost yourself in it daily, only have it taken from you? That is a loss worth mourning.

  4. I love reading your blogs, Anna. They invariably give me something to chew over, and this one really struck a chord. I think it’s a Native American saying that we don’t inherit the Earth from our fathers, we borrow it from our children. Perhaps if more people thought like that we wouldn’t be in so much trouble now.

  5. Gloria Dunn

    So enjoy your blog and articles. Glad you are safe, even though with interruptions to your life. Take care and keep up the good work.

    On 7/10/15, Horses |AnnaBlakeBlog | Equestrian

  6. Maureen

    What more can be said. The sadness over what we’re destroying is over whelming.
    I received your book Wednesday and finished it yesterday. Thank you for sharing your life.

  7. Sue Blount

    It’s very sad, my husband and I do our best to be good stewarts of all that God has created. I think of what Pope Francis said: Nature does not forgive.

  8. Karen

    We are fiddling while the planet burns. Or floods. For money and toys.

    Glad you and your beasts are all safe.

  9. Maggie Frazier

    Once again, well said, Anna So relieved you and yours are all ok. Had to be so scary.
    Here in NY we have had a LOT of rain off & on – luckily I’m located high enough so the most so far has been water in the ditches altho with all the springs on my little 4 acres – it stays wet a lot. My dog & I slog through it am & pm on our walks. It appears we will be getting yet another pipeline in the near future. I’m about a mile away from a compressor station (gas) and I hear there will be upgrades to that. I’m with you – love my little place & all the wildlife around it. Like many of us – HATE the changes “so called improvements”!! Certainly hope more people become aware of just how bad we are mis-using this planet – sooner rather than too late.

  10. Judy Shaub

    Thank you so very much for sharing. I got your book and am enjoying it. I am so glad you are all ok. I wish I could be there to help with the clean up. My beautiful sunsets and view of the PA hills are also crossed by power lines. But I am so very grateful for the view. So many cannot see and are in denial. We have to keep speaking up. Savor every moment.

  11. sherryw2015

    I do believe it has something to do with turning 60. I am not overly emotional, I do not cry at the drop of a hat but I can be brought to tears at the beauty of the natural world. Just today the silhouette of my mare on the ridge with her mane and tail flowing brought a lump! I don’t know what’s worse, the power lines or those god awful blinking wind turbines!

  12. Penny Nisenbaum

    Holy Smokes, Anna! How scary!
    I just looked at some news photos of Falcon and was blown away by all the water.
    So glad to hear you and yours are all OK.
    “I’m not a scientist, but it looks like big changes to me!” Geez.
    I’ll be in touch, Salida next week.

  13. Sandy Goss

    Yes ,you do seem to stop,dwell and appreciate your life How lucky has our generation been The best era humans have known in the first world Now we are seeing the pressures and demands needed to sustain 7 billion people in the world Hope we can do it

  14. lsterling56

    Anna, as I read this I kept thinking, this feels like a prayer, yet this feels like a call to action. We all of course remember “An Inconvenient Truth”, and the sad fact is that a response to global warming IS inconvenient and expensive and we’d just rather let someone else worry about it. Holy crap, even the POPE is talking about this! Will we ever put our politics and greed aside and just deal with what we have done to our dear Mother? I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve wondered about horses: What if there is no more water? What if there is no more grass? What kind of impossible choices may we have to face, even in our lifetimes? It doesn’t seem quite so implausible any longer. My grandchildren are visiting right now, and it is terrifying to think that when they are my age they might tell their grandchildren about a lifestyle and animals and a planet that is nothing but a memory. So glad you and your family are safe…so glad you spoke out.

    1. I think about the future… I paid for my horse’s hay by babysitting when I was a kid and that isn’t possible for most kids now. The title “An Inconvenient Truth” is perfect; that is the reason. Thanks, great comment again.

  15. You are a strong and admirable woman, Anna. And a purposeful storyteller. May all be well, or at least better, in your universe—and yesterday. So sorry about the human interruption to your view. Seems to be the affliction of our modern times. But very glad to know that you, your horses and your llamas are well despite Mother N’s occasional disruptions.

    1. Thanks, Jann. The animals were all pretty stressed for a couple of days. We’re all most back to normal now, and that is the tricky part. On one hand, it would be better to ignore those power lines and see the sunset through them… but if we ignore all of these ‘human interruptions’ that will be worse. We’ve done that too long. A quandary for sure. Thank you.

  16. Art berry

    Totally understand the sorrow of losing a special peacefulness at your farm. Power lines, urban growth, urban ignorance of what we are doing to our earth has made me anxious then irritated. Then angry. We have always lived on the edges of urbanite bliss. (Near SA.TX) many times in the last 40 years we have moved as the city spread into our space Now semi- retired we are 1 hours from convenience Big downfall is the 2 hour drive for the Airport Just hoping we are old enough now that our time on earth can be here in heavenly peace

    Judy

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    1. I’m planted too. I think we hold the vision of what beauty is/could be, do our best to always be an example, and then hope for the best. You know, in the face of unspeakable things. (Doesn’t sound that easy to me.)

  17. Anna: I am so glad you and your animals are safe. That sounded terrifying. Not knowing how the horses were doing in the barn would have made me crazy and probably desperate. The Llamas certainly had the right idea and the ducks — oh my. I am so sincerely glad to hear they all made it through such a terrifying ordeal. We have much to be thankful for and I try to show gratitude every day. Your blogs are always wonderful to read. Thank you for that. Stay safe. If only Mother Nature could direct her fury to the ones that need the wake up call and not effect the ones who love her and are vigilant to do the right thing.

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