January 23, 2022
I’m up at my regular blogging time now. It’s been a while. It’s pitch dark outside and the house is quiet. I have my matcha green tea soy latte in a Yeti Tumbler, a gift from the former regional chief of pediatrics for participating in a gun safety pilot program. It’s a long weekend for the kids and they have Monday off, and I somehow managed to remember to take that day off too. The Yeti Tumbler keeps my morning matcha green tea at the right temperature for longer, and there is some sweetness with some sugar – but much less than I used to drink with coffee.
Our son was at the upscale local mall with his high school friends. Masked and vaccinated, they had dinner at the food court and bought Tshirts. Some semblance of a normal teenage life in the middle of hopefully the last surge of this god-awful pandemic. Mr. Plastic Picker and I headed with our daughter to the San Diego waterfront, and we wandered unexpectedly to Little Italy. We’ve been to Little Italy in the past, but never at night and never for dinner. It was a lovely dinner. Beautifully made pastas, a beautiful fire pit and gelato and cannolis we ate at the little square.
The memories of last night are lovely and warm. But in this special hour that I spend thinking about the earth, the melodic contentment of last night makes me grieve more. This last week was one of the first times I felt true climate grief. Some of us know it as climate anxiety. We had so many gains this last week with projects completed and big victories to bend the arc of justice and climate change to a liveable planet. But with those victories comes the realization that it may be still too late.
I’m still here and still advocating and fighting for us. This morning I’m in the finishing stages of an AAP Catch grant “Rewild the Child to Counter ACES” linking rewilding efforts with child mental health, and hopefully help change the national conversation on how green and blue spaces and child wellness can be done in wild places with the combined forces of wetland specialists, educators, physicians and child mental health providers.
Joy can drive action. But grief can also give one purpose. And this morning, it’s grief that will help me finish this grant. This code red for humanity, the public health crisis which is climate change, is going to be close. It’s going to be so close.