Ann Keiffer

Remembering Water…and Ozone

California, Lake Oroville, 2014

I remember water…and rain and
all the years I forgot to be grateful
for every bit of it, every drip, drop,
rivulet, and glad-splashing stream.

Now, drought…
Beating California down with a
bone-dry-and-desiccated stick.
Our once-Mediterranean climate,
changing, becoming more arid.
America’s Salad Bowl, as California
has been called, browning, wilting,
turning the wrong kind of crisp.

Eye-searing aerial images of rivers,
reservoirs, lakes and waterways…
receding, steady-creeping water-lines
and ever-expanding swathes of dirt-
dry banks…look away! But I can’t.

Strange, this. How the earth and
my body have come to feel as one.
Like my own veins and arteries
are shrinking, drying up. Like I am
grieving the diminishing possibility
of greening, as the earth must be
grieving, too. We thirst for water.
And hope.

Hope…startled me, showing up in
the newspaper: Scientists say
ozone layer is recovering.

Remember ozone? The 70’s and 80’s
…when scientists sounded the alarm,
warning us of impending disaster,
the destruction of earth’s protective
ozone layer? We took the hole in the
ozone seriously. Put the push on
governments, leaders, industries.
Nations came together and signed a
worldwide treaty banning the man-
made chlorofluorocarbons that were
causing the destruction. Miraculously.
given the chance and time, the ozone
layer is repairing and healing itself.

Now…it’s climate-change coming
at us, everywhere, all at once, in
all its extreme-weather disguises.
Droughts, floods, cyclones and
hurricanes, intense heat and polar
winter temperatures. Scientists are
sounding the alarms. All hands on
deck! In the dry-seas of drought,
I will launch my small tugboat…
and join in the push. Letter-writers,
phone-call-makers, politicians,
leaders, bloggers, activists and
artists, journalists and scientists,
policy-makers, yea- and nay-sayers,
marchers and pray-ers–all tugboats
are needed now–pushing together
to change the course of the
Great Ship Status Quo.

Ann Keiffer
October, 2014

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About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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