Our discussion has been so narrow, our mainstream discourse so dismissive of third party candidates and their platforms, that most voters don’t even know what questions they’re asking or which solutions they’re offering. When the only perspectives the gatekeepers allow to flood the national airwaves are those of Big Red and Big Blue, the only reaction left to many observers is to pick apart their positions, ignore their overwhelming similarities, and squabble over their minute differences. But when a third, or fourth, or fifth, or five hundredth perspective is allowed to come forward, championed by some passionate groups that coalesce around a common goal or a common cause, suddenly we are not faced with a false and unrealistic black-and-white choice. Suddenly there are many shades of grey.
As I practice commitment to my Work and this seasonal cycle, I realize that I am centering myself in time and space. I am at the center of the ongoing cyclical spiral of the Wheel, where time ebbs and flows according to the great song of the world, the stories we have told since the beginning of memory, where space is defined not by our walls and doorways but by the beating pulse of the earth. Between these celebrations, I slip and slide out of sync with the cycle, concentrating in my daily practice on centering within myself and within my home, until the next ritual, the next holy day brings me back into alignment with the universe.
Water is so obvious because it is almost everywhere — and where it isn’t, we notice its absence immediately. Water connects us. It is essential, a need all of us share and one that none can escape. What do I know about where my water comes from? What do I know about what’s done to my water before it comes flowing out of my tap? What do I put in my water before it disappears down my drain — soap, shampoo, cosmetics, laundry detergent, fragrances, fertilizers, pesticides? What do I know about my water table, and how fragile is it — is my neighborhood in danger of drought?
I grew up in the woods. I would come home from school, drop off my books, and immediately disappear into the acres of wooded park across the street from my house until dinner. I knew every inch of those trails, all of the oldest trees, which berries I could eat and which leaves would give me a rash. I would watch hawks hunt and squirrels gather and deer pace cautiously through the underbrush. Just before dinner, I’d spend five minutes in the bathroom scrubbing dirt and sweat and sometimes blood from my hands and face. It was magic, it made my life magical, and it put me in touch with something beyond myself but also immediate, at my fingertips, just behind the green and across the creek. I sensed a certain kind of potential there, the edges of that false boundary we’ve created between us and Nature and a way to pass over it or through it and experience the Other Side.