Fog Ahead

Those two daughters living on the wet side of Kauai, below the mountain dubbed the wettest spot on earth, are experiencing some serious rain that is causing evacuations, flooding, slides, road closures, and, apparently, indoor days of doldrums. I hope today that they may be able to step out and snatch a view of a rainbow, if the sky is not cluttered with cats and dogs. Hawaii is having one of the wettest winters ever, while central California weather enjoys the temperament of a purring house cat that stretches out in sunny warmth.

This morning in the Santa Cruz mountains the air felt colder than the past few days, but no frost had settled on my windshield or on my whiskers. Maybe I have seen the end of frost for this year. I read back to journal entries of last summer, but also recall without the aid of a journal that we had a long, cold, cloudy, foggy summer. If our climate was predictable, it would follow that we would have a long cold winter. Just the opposite has occurred. On one of my more recent visits to Kauai the island suffered a severe drought. All the well known rainbows and waterfalls had dried up, and the jungle around Hanalei seemed to be looking for a source of water from which to drink.

This day, as with so many lately, I flip on the radio to hear the latest news, and it is more about politics and the bickering between parties and candidates, so I turn that off because it doesn’t sound like news to me. Maybe in a month or three when the party platforms are better defined, the candidates fine tune their positions, the splinter groups seek unity, I will give a better listen. At the moment I don’t feel solidarity with any of them, but that has nearly always been my experience with the politics. Love the country, but resist the leadership process. I think another foggy summer lies just ahead.

I continue to slowly read the journal of Henri Amiel. He asks of me that I search within, rather than become easily persuaded by popular voices. Here is a reading today from Amiel:

“The sensible politician is governed by considerations of social utility, the public good, the greatest attainable good; the political windbag starts from the idea of the rights of the individual-abstract rights, of which the extent is affirmed, not demonstrated, for the political right of the individual is precisely what is in question. The revolutionary school always forgets that right apart from duty is a compass with one leg. The notion of right inflates the individual, fills him with thoughts of self and of what others owe him, while it ignores the other side of the question, and extinguishes his capacity for devoting himself to a common cause. The state becomes a shop with self-interest for a principle-or rather an arena, in which every combatant fights for his own hand only. In either case self is the motive power.”

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