Finally, our goldens are running out of places to take their elaborate 'snow baths' when we go in the woods each morning. It has seemed to take forever this year for the snow to melt, and now the woods are in a kind of limbo, between the dead of winter, and exploding with life. There is a kind of almost sullen feeling to them.
But, it is getting warmer each day, with brief exceptions, and I heard 'peepers' for the first time the other day...so, I know that any day now the grand transition from greys, tans, browns and evergreen shades of green, to the fresh and even brilliant greens of spring is going to happen. And, when it does, it will happen in a rush. The mosses will perk up, become a much more emerald shade of green. Little shoots will push up through the soggy mass of dead leaves, elbowing aside any and all impediments....and then the flowers will appear almost everywhere you look. The Trillium will be among the first, but there will be a virtual carpet of tiny blue and yellow blossoms in many places. It feels good.
Of late, I have not wanted to write on this blog. In the absence of being inspired by my love of the woods and all that lives therein, I have felt beset by events and people in the 'un-real' world around us. When I realized that my last several posts were all about people I consider to be among the lowest of the low...it just seemed too negative.
In these times, apparently, it is the hour of the idiots to take the stage. The Trumps, Bachmanns, Palins (though I am thankful that she is quickly fading from any serious role in the public arena) and all the other clowns out there, are here for a reason. As Farid Zakaria mentioned on his own blog, the birther stuff is simply and undeniably "coded racism", and he asked: would it be out there if Barack Obama was white and named Jim Smith? The answer to that--for anybody with a brain--is NO. The Donald has now stooped to questioning if Barack Obama should have gotten into Harvard. Of course, the fact that the President graduated Magnum Cum Laude and was head of the Harvard Law Review...well, we'll just ignore that.
So, I am coming into a place of accepting that we are living in a time when Greed--yes, with a capital 'G'--is coming into the fore. Congress is doing the bidding of Big Money, siding with those who would plunder Americans for all their worth. The cast of characters that the GOP is looking at for the 2012 presidential race, is so loaded with people who want to push this agenda that it will be almost impossible for them to single out a rational candidate who actually puts the well-being of Americans--other than the rich--first.
So, be it. Let it all unfold however it will. Those of us who clearly see what is happening to our country will turn out once again, and we will vote for the man who has disappointed us on so many levels, but is still a country mile better than the hairballs who will oppose him.
My father was a life-long horticulturist. His special interest was in growing roses, really stunning ones. One day when I was perhaps 8 or 9, he called me over to a rose-bed and said, "Look at this." He turned over a leaf on one of his prize rosebushes and it was covered with very pale small insects. "Those are aphids." I was a little puzzled because I knew he wasn't just showing me some bugs. He went on:" They live on these leaves and produce a nectar, and the ants 'farm' them. They come around and actually 'milk' the aphids, and make sure that they are going to keep producing...so the ants can take it from them." I do not actually have enough clarity of hindsight to know if Dad was knowingly teaching me a life lesson, or not. But, he was very clear about the fact that the ants used the aphids for their own well-being and great benefit. I didn't get the impression that he thought this was pretty clever and 'hooray' for the ants. He was simply observing that the aphids were kind of like cows. This stuck with me all these years. And, only recently have I become aware that this is how 'Big Money' views and uses the middle-class. We produce, and increasingly, we are being milked of what we do produce. Whether it is the amazingly userious profits of the pharmaceutical, credit, energy or medical and insurance industries...or simply the fact that the current business ethic has now fully morphed from: "a good product at a fair price", into "squeeze 'em for all their worth".
Everywhere you look you will find companies that are becoming very creative in how they strip you of your money. Example: we bought a sub-compact Honda Fit. We wanted a basic mode of transportation with as few bells and whistles as possible. We just don't give a damn about all the gewgaws on a car. As it turns out, this little buggy comes--no choice--with a very clever system called TPMS, i.e. Tire Pressure Management System. The assumption is that you are too stupid to make sure your car has enough air in the tires....so they make sure a little light goes on on the dashboard to tell you that. Well, it so happens that the sensors for each wheel cost over a HUNDRED BUCKS, and if you want to get rid of them the little light will always be on....and one person told me his mechanic wouldn't pass his car's inspection if it was. So, just one more of the myriad ways in which a company now has you on the hook for something you DIDN'T EVEN WANT.
This is us being the aphids, folks. The corporate 'ants' are milking us and we're almost utterly passive in the face of it. Most people would ask, "What choice do we have?" And, I will answer that in some detail in a subsequent posting.