Gondola on Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA
This article focuses on the rich county to the west and south of me:
Bay Area ranks high in contentment survey.
In it the Congressional representative, Anna Eshoo, said "there's not a shred of good news" in the world except that her constituents are happy.
Which reminds me why I started this blog.
Folks, quit reading the news! It makes you think "everything is terrible," but if you look deeply, you will see how much of our life is wonderful.
May I remind you of all the reasons I have to be worried? I am utterly happy today.
My city gets a lot of bad press, but you should have been with me on my walk this morning. Pouring sunshine, neighbors and postman exchanging smiles and greetings, birds, flowers, hills, bay. There's an Ethiopian church by the highway, and I met the priest on my walk, conversed with him in Arabic.
Last Saturday ladies from my neighborhood got together and made orange marmalade and preserved lemons from fruit we'd collected for free. The citrus is just falling off trees, and total strangers offer each other grocery bags full of excellent oranges. My son and I collected some from a lady we've met on our walks from school.
My son's school was going to be closed, but the parents banded together and won a one-year reprieve.
View of Oakland Hills just east of my home.
The Parks Dept. has to close its facilities one day a month, due to budget cuts, so that means my children are home instead of going to after school. Because my health is better and we want to save a little money, we are also pulling each son out of after-school one day a week. The boys are thriving with the extra attention.
The public schools keep running family nights, so we have plenty of free entertainment in community with our children's schoolmates. Our beaches, hills, and walkable urban neighborhoods are still there for us to enjoy. We are fortunate to live near friends and relatives.
Maybe if we'd lost our house, job or both, we'd be feeling differently. Maybe climate change and economic collapse mean that civilization is about to end. But you know what? None of that is happening today. And I'll bet that whatever is happening for you today, you aren't living in a car, you aren't hungry, and you probably don't have to have chemo or a liver biopsy. (I've had both - 33 infusions of chemo in 2007-08) So count your blessings and enjoy your breathing.
Tango Milonga party at Lake Merritt, Oakland, CA. There's always a good reason to dance.