Fake Animals and Fake Waterfalls, Still Beautiful but Seek the Real Ones
February 13, 2022
Yesterday was a lovely day. It was one of those lovely unexpected days. We had dropped off our teen son at a friend’s house, as the three best friends were hanging out before the winter formal at Sea World. Our son had his father’s wedding suit which was a Ralph Lauren morning coat ala Hugh Grant, and a $35 top hat that came in an amazon package to compliment. Our son actually forgot his top hat, and his father had to drop it off after the boys had gone to dinner. But between dropping off teen son with reused wedding suit and dropping off the new top hat, the remaining three of us (Mr. Plastic Picker, Dr. Plastic Picker and younger teen daughter) stopped by one of the local master planned parks in metro San Diego.
I had heard of Civita Park for years. We had lived in the early and driven by during the construction. I have had several colleagues live in the area at the early leasing stages, and others currently. Intellectually and environmentally, I had been curious and of course supportive of this urban master planned community that centers around a community walkable park. But life is busy and I’ve been seeking real nature namely the beating heart of mother earth which is our oceans.
Oceans and the flow of the earth’s water through our rivers is really the circulation of life. Like our arterial blood transports oxygen to our tissues, and then venous blood transports carbon dioxide to our lungs to be exhaled – there has to be a flow that is part of nature’s design. The venous capillary system flows slowly at the aveoli to lung interface and oxygen and carbon dioxide is exchanged at that thin cellular membranous level. Then from the oxygen pulmonary vasculature eventually to the left atrium, left ventricle and then to the aorta. Oxygenated blood then with the power of the left ventricle is pumped through the aortic valve and cascades down your body through the abdominal aora. The abdominal aorta is really the greatest waterfall of oxygenated blood through your body. I was resting last night remembering the days events and my body slowly slipping into sleep and dreaming, when Mr. Plastic Picker wanted me to hold him. I laid by ear on his body right below his sternum. It’s an odd thing but we are both doctors very aware of our bodies, and being married for so long I know his as well as I know mine. My ear was pressed right below his sternum, and I sometimes just lay there and listen. It’s very odd but soothing. Ancient physicians before the stethoscope used to do the same to their patient’s bodies. Back then, being a doctor was an intimate process. Now we just scan and xray patients, sometimes treating and diagnosing perhaps correctly perhaps incorrectly without ever touching them. But I touched my husband patient, because he is part of the earth as well, with my ear right below his sternum. And I hear the earth. I can’t explain it any other way. I hear the strong beating of his abdominal aorta, which is really the body’s strongest waterfall. And then the gurgling of his intestines and the funny sounds and pops and rushes of gastric juices and bile that are slipping down the intestines eventually to the colon. When I lay there in a semi-trancelike state, I swear I hear the earth. It’s the same sounds of when I go to the ocean. It’s the same feeling I get when I’ve been to Yosemite and hearing the rush of Nevada Falls when there have been good rains.
I’m sure many peoples throughout history have come to the same conclusion. When we were at “Love Your Wetlands” there were many environmental groups out in force but also the Kumeyaay Nation and their keepers of the water. My big conclusion yesterday is that Civita Park was so lovely. I will be back. But it’s a contructed nature.
I was so proud to be a San Diegan at that park. For those built spaces where we have carved out the heart of mother earth and taken her granite (the area was a former quarry), redsigning it in these areas that likely have what is called biophillic design is the right thing to do.
But as someone who is listening to the earth and listening to my husband-patient, I am reminded that that waterfall there is not real. That rabbit statue is not real. That community garden that looks oh so perfect to inspire people to buy organic, is just for show. It likely makes enough to feed just a handful of families.
We need to preserve our true wild spaces. Listen to your own body and go there. Go to these wild places like Mission Bay Kendall Frost Reserve and you will see the real animals that are hurting. You will see the real rivers that are the planet’s lifeblood polluted and with a weak pulse, because we’ve diverted so many of her resources. Don’t be fooled. Civita Park is lovely and we will be back. It’s an easy drive and where we can see other humans and get exercise while using only the electric range on my hybrid, and support some local eateries.
I’m going to go out to the oceans edge now and check out our shared patient, our planet. She has some plastic that is clogging up his waterways and I’m going to help it flow a bit better. I hope our patient makes it.