This winter, Portland has experienced more winter weather than the previous two years combined. So far, the kids have missed an entire week of school, followed by a national holiday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. On MLK Day, we decided to brave the still mostly unplowed city streets only because we had studded tires. We ventured up to the mountain to go skiing. Funny enough, as soon as we passed through the outer suburbs, we realized that the snow that had crippled Portland for a week was incredibly localized. There was very little snow beyond, and the roads were clear until we got to the elevations where you normally start seeing snow again.
The great irony is, that here we were, on the day devoted to the memory and legacy of one of the greatest heroes of the American Civil Rights Movement, only days before one of the most contentious scum bags ever elected, is sworn into the US Presidency. A fresh coating of ice on top of the one already existing, is promised with this storm. As I write this, it is raining, temperatures are hovering around freezing, last week’s snow cover remains on the ground, and schools have not been called off for another day – not yet. As for my embattled garden, it has most definitely taken a hit in the two storms we’ve had so far. With more coming, it’s easy to see its parallel drama unfold in our society. With a presidency built on hate, privilege, oppression, racism, sexism, gay bashing, and outright mockery of those with disabilities, we are in for a few years of national soul searching. As with my garden, my trust and hope lies with the resiliency of life and those living in it, along with policies and actions that reflect its diversity. We’re going to need a lot of grass roots action in the years to come. We need more leaders with the courage, compassion and intellect like Martin Luther King. As for school – we’re still waiting for that call.