I like to think I have a lot of tolerance for chaos, but in this time of wildfire, pandemic, and political maelstrom, I’m being tested. Here we are, “we” being my family, sequestering in place together, and holding a pretty strict protocol. We have had very little direct outside contact for eight months now. Groceries are delivered. I attend meetings on Zoom only, and forays out are limited. We are okay, not suffering, as so many in our country tragically are. 

Being an introvert, this has been a briar patch kind of experience. It still is to some degree. Although I retired four years ago, this is the first time that I have felt retired. I don’t want to go back to so much disruptive driving into town once or twice a day. I like doing less. I have slept much better. I haven’t had a cold for months. My grandkids, also sequestered, have also not been sick. In some ways, life on the ranch is a kind of center point in a world that is swirling in chaos. 

Rudolf Steiner says it is in chaos that we are closest to the Divine. That’s why he recommended stirring the biodynamic preparations in water, first one way, creating a vortex, and at that very point, reversing and stirring the opposite direction. He said that in this way the water is impregnated with the vital energy of the preparation to then be sprayed upon the fields. In Greek mythology, Chaos was the first being from which the primeval deities came, including Gaia. Chaos is a breeding ground for what comes next, whatever that may be.

And despite all that I have said about center points, I am also stirred!  Even as I write this, my iPhone sends out an alert from an earthquake app I downloaded. There was just a 3.1 earthquake within 50 miles at the Geysers, a hydrologically interesting site with hot sulfur springs. Although we have had seasonal temperatures and clear skies this last week, the weather service has announced a fire warning. Temperatures are predicted to rise 10-15 degrees and the North Bay mountains may experience winds of 50 miles an hour Sunday through Monday. All of us in the West are on heightened alert for fire, this year being the fourth in a row. As my son Jesse stated yesterday, this is not the new normal. There is nothing that static about it. We will be experiencing changes for a long time to come before we have the stasis of “new normal”. 

I calm myself remembering the meditation we do when stirring the biodynamic preps into water, stirring first one way until a deep vortex reaches to the bottom of the barrel and then quickly reversing. While creating this chaos in the water, this receptivity to divinity, we picture in our mind’s eye a balanced fertility of the earth and the well being of all who live here. Studies have shown that such meditation changes even the structure of the water. 

So in this chaos of the times, this is my prayer: That we may love each other. That we may be strong in making sure each of our voices is heard, whether it’s in our daily personal lives, or nationally and internationally. That we care for the well being of the other, whether the other is our family, the neighbor across town or the country, or the environment, so in flux. If nothing else, we are learning how interconnected we all are, human and nonhuman, whether that connection is in love or in hatred. I vote for love.