Everything feels hushed, stagnant, hunkered down, the sky dull with smoke and ash; collapsed in upon itself, sorrowing and rejecting even the blurry red sun that burns a hole through the murk but warms nothing. We’ve been reading the terrible news stories about the fires obliterating whole towns and blackening landscapes to the south and east of us here. The heavy smoke covering our skies tell us of worse things happening not so far away. Our hearts ache with worry and fear for those in danger.
But wait, what’s that soft dappling sound this morning? Rain! A wash of life-saving water to clear the air, refresh the dusty trees and spread a little hope. It didn’t last very long but maybe it will start up again and really get down to work. It was like a small candle of possibility that help is on its way.
I have been thinking about the time in my younger years when several people I knew took up Tarot card reading, not with a belief exactly in the esoteric realm but perhaps because it was a way of posing questions to oneself. Where am I going? (Tarot involves a lot of questing and journeying, literally and metaphorically.) What is important? Who or what can help me on my quest? It was all very romantic and poetic. But what I was remembering now was the cards, laid out in a pattern that told one’s fortune, were of two kinds: High Arcana and Low Arcana. The lower set were said to indicate directions and decisions that were within your own range of power to influence and choose, but the higher cards—especially if you had a preponderance of them in your reading—indicated that what was happening in your life was not within your control. Forces beyond your grasp or understanding were determining your path or limiting your actions. You were in the grip of Fate!
Life has felt like that of late! We are in the grip of a worldwide pandemic; we are living in a society that feels like it is careening off any recognizable path; and now we here in the West are literally on fire. Those all feel like High Arcana cards.
Again, wait! While it is true that this troika of woes is overwhelming, we can choose how we feel about it all and we can do something—maybe just small acts, or maybe more effective ones if we join with others—but still, choosing our response and finding inspiration or just tenacity to keep going, keep practicing acts of kindness and good sense, promoting justice and a path to healthful living for everyone, caring for the Earth and each other, it is in our grasp.
The rain did not fall for more than a brief respite, but it was refreshing. It was a start. The Earth welcomed it and it raised my spirits too.