The traveling bookstore needs a new alternator. It became evident Wednesday when it needed to be jumped twice – once going to the farmers market and then by the end of the market, it wouldn’t start again. Another jump and I drove it directly to the local mechanics. Eureka being a small town, the part won’t be in until Monday which means cancelling two venues this weekend – the Historic Hotel Libby and Riverfront Blues Festival. First time a mechanical problem prevented the bookstore from getting somewhere it needed to go. The Czech saying ‘to je škoda’ came to mind.
So a few unscheduled days open up as the bookstore sits at the mechanics. This morning instead of getting up early to drive to Libby, MT, I sit over coffee writing posts, writing letters, planning for the next few weeks, appreciating some time to reflect. With summer activities, very hot weather, forest fires filling the sky with smoke, and the political state in this country, there is certainly plenty to reflect on.
Last summer also had bad forest fires. Tensions in this valley rose. Where to put the blame for the loss of timber, loss of homes, loss of tourist dollars, and loss of clear summer skies? There were all sorts of accusations, harsh condemnations. When the weather is too hot and the sky a ghostly yellow blocking any view of the mountains, I understand people wanting to yell, wanting to find someone or something to blame. Some sources say this weather and the amount of fires we experience will be the new norm. How will this community adapt if tourists stop coming in August because smoke hangs heavy? How can I adapt to not being short tempered?
And then there is the political situation. Does the word political even begin to cover the magnitude of the current times in this country? Strong divisions, curtailing human rights, public lands used for personal profit, confrontations, mass shootings. Locally I watch our mental health services and medical care erode. The Congressman from Montana won the election the day after beating up a journalist.
So a day to think on these things, to write letters and to decide which actions are sensible in these times. To not let the heat or fires fuel over reactions or cause passivity. To use the time allotted in the best possible way.