December 1, 2014, Prescott- I am involved in a local project, which will hopefully keep a key local elementary school form being closed by those who see the property on which it sits as the site of another hotel or shopping plaza. It is far more valuable to the community as an educational institution than it ever will be as a commercial zone. Less than a mile to the west, there is a large vacant building, at a major intersection, that is begging for a tenant. To the south, another property, which would make a fabulous guest lodge, also sits empty, at yet another key intersection.
We have just witnessed one of the most intense attempts ever, at dismantling a major national holiday, falter and stumble, with Wall Street weighing in, today, by selling off a pile of junk. Sure, the easily-bored and disconnected among us showed up at the malls, and bargain hunters, who would have waited until Saturday, went in and scored their usual screaming deals. The difference from last year seems to be that most of us have had it. For that matter, I haven’t been to a store on Thanksgiving weekend since 1996, and then only to use a birthday gift card from my in-laws.
I sense that, with all the drama in discount outlets like WalMart, and the bad weather in much of our continent, “Joe and Jane Sixpack”, who are also family people, are wanting to get back to the real sense of who they are, who we are, as sentient beings. When my son and I took a brief walk along the beach front, at La Jolla Cove, San Diego, last Friday, it was comforting to see a huge number of families enjoying the day and the sea air. A similar number were in evidence a bit further north, at Torrey Pines.
There will be more gains on Wall Street in the foreseeable future, and more people are likely to return to the workforce. There are also possible climactic and social disruptions, some severe, that will reverse the trend towards economic recovery. Japan is still reeling, ecologically and economically from the Fukushima nightmare, and the northwest Pacific Coast, from Bristol Bay to the Bay Area, is witnessing troubling die-offs of marine and shore life. Other parts of the world also report unsettling ecological changes. For example, we had better hope, as a human race, that the Balkan Peninsula does not have a repeat of last year’s severe winter, given the relatively meager harvests reported from that area. Thus does the pendulum wildly swing.
The answer is not to shrink back, but to reach out ever more fervently. I will do my best to carry on my journeys of discovery, even if on foot and in relative paucity, as the true purpose of these is always to connect. The same is true of my efforts here in Arizona. It is the bonding, the networking, which will see us through all challenges. The solution lies not in the Paper Green, but in the True Blue.