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Out on a Limb


I hope you don’t mind, I’m reusing this image because it seemed so appropriate.

Like a lot of the country, Illinois has been experiencing a hot dry spell that defies memory.  In fact, I feel like one of those elders, standing around, chin in hand, saying, “I don’t believe I’ve ever seen it get like this”,  while the young’uns roll their eyes and mutter dark thoughts under their breath.  It was a relief, then, (well, sort of) when a newscaster stated that this is the worst drought since 1954 or something.  At least my credibility went up a notch or two.

Last night, thunderous black clouds piled up, one atop another.  We held our breath~ BLAM! Lightening and thunder and hours of rain rain rain.  There is a bowl-shaped area near the high school that was created when they expanded.  The edges are 5 or 6′ slopes.  Really great for taking your young children sledding, until the school slapped up a fence around it.  They may have had a point.  This morning that thing was full of water!  Basically, a swimming pool.  A large swimming pool.  By 1pm, all of the water had been absorbed by the super dry soil and thirsty trees.  Amazing.

I try not to dwell on climate change, but I can’t help being fascinated by the changes I see all around me.  Some things are really neat, like all the different skin colors and languages to be heard at the local coffee shop. …and some things, like these extremes in weather, well…

I believe that change of all sorts is going to come to us, whether we want it to or not.  Changes that really, we can’t even predict.  How will we deal with them?  In some ways, I feel fortunate for already leading a life beyond the pale of normal.  Those of us who are not in comfortable, prescribed roles are already familiar with surprise waves that come out of nowhere and knock you over.  Pretty soon, though, I think all of us will have to invent for ourselves new responses to our lives.  Everything from careers to water consumption to transportation and energy  will take us careening from the path we grew up expecting to follow.  It could be exciting, or it could be terrifying.  Well, probably both.

I look at as an opportunity to start (if we haven’t already) being the people we really want to be.  I read somewhere that  people get the government they deserve.  ouch.  So, this seems like a good time to figure out who we want to be, and reach for that, as opposed to being told who we are by the entertainment industry and the marketing devision of the corporate world.

Speaking of people trying to sell you something, I think there is a “?” to the left of the blog, here, and if you click it, it takes you to my etsy shop!  I don’t know how I did that.  Or if, in fact, I did!  Please don’t be offended, I was just so excited I had to share!


Warm wishes to you all.  Maybe I should send cool wishes, instead.  Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I would love to get a discussion started on what changes you see on the horizon, and what the quote about government means to you.

9 thoughts on “Out on a Limb

  1. Great post, Melissa. The only thing we can count on is change. It comes in different forms, but nothing stays the same. Your last paragraph is right on the mark.

  2. Thanks! I’ve been reading Eliazbeth Gilbert’s “Eat Pray Love” as well as all of Martha Beck’s books~ two great authors who write about the changes we must face.

  3. Great point about being who hollywood and marketers want us to be! Look at all the magazine covers that have their pictures photoshopped to the hilt, turning that person into something that isn’t real. It’s just terrible!

    Change is hard for me – I like to know what’s coming up around the bend. But, like you said, that isn’t always possible. Great post!

    1. I recently glimpsed a piece that was done featuring famous people without the makeup and photoshopping. It was not intended to shame them at all, just to show how ordinary they really are. I sometimes wonder how that must feel, to them. What it does to the rest of us is terrible.


      1. That’s a good question! I wouldn’t mind having a nice picture of myself, but I don’t think I’d like to always be portrayed as this beauty, when the reality is something different.

  4. Changes open up for possibilities. They can be scary but the can also lead to positive changes. There is no doubt in my mind that the climate will change – and we will see that Mother Nature in more ways than this will respond to the impact of modern human life. At the same time technology is changing our lives more and more every day – and hopefully technology will eventually also be used in more profound positive ways, and not only for pleasure and efficiency. I love your painting by the way.

    1. I imagine in your travels you see quite a bit of evidence of mother nature responding to the impact humans have. You’re right, too, about technology. About the time I despair, I read about a new cool thing technology is cooking up to help us walk more lightly on the earth. I’m so glad you like my painting. That means a lot from you~ your work is inspiring to me!


      1. Thank you for that nice remark. I am still not convinced that technology alone will help save the earth’s future. We probably will have to chance our way of living too, no matter what.

  5. I will definitely take a peek at your etsy shop, Melissa! (And that is such a beautiful piece you’ve used! I thought it was a photo!)

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