I'm even more aware of this as I sit in the Seattle airport, waiting for a flight to Frankfurt, from which I'll fly to Budapest, in the hope of then taking a bus to Lviv in western Ukraine.
Yesterday's news reported that the Ukrainians have begun re-purposing cold-war anti-aircraft missiles and are now shooting them at cities in Russia itself, a hundred miles behind the battle lines. It remains to be seen how the Russians will retaliate---whether they now begin to intensify their bombing of Ukrainian cities that have so far experienced less drone and missile attacks.
In this past weekend, in (relatively) peaceful, comfortable Oregon, I was backpacking with my friend, George, in the Drift Creek Wilderness in the Coast Range, supposedly the largest stand of Old Growth trees in Oregon. We were almost the only people there and the stillness and beauty were breathtaking. I watched bright orange crayfish move slowly across the bottom of Drift Creek and heard owls calling in the night and early morning among the huge Doug Firs and Western Cedars.
Now, sitting in the airport I feel myself moving further and further from that relatively untouched landscape and life, toward a landscape and people that have been devastated by some of the worst that humans can do to each other (though I'm aware that there's a lot that goes on that I don't know about and that doesn't even get reported in the bubble I live in).
This movement, challenge, learning, and---hopefully---slight amount of waking up are what I hope to pay attention to and report back to you over the course of this trip. Some of you have asked me to let you know if I encounter nonprofit organizations that are doing important work on the ground in Ukraine so you can make donations, and I hope to be able to do that, too.
I hope you're all well and able to feel grateful for the (mostly) open and (mostly) peaceful country we live in.
More to come...