The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

[Still] Between Two Worlds

Posted by | August 4, 2020 | Filed under: Opinion

A salt marsh floods twice a day, yet its denizens still thrive. Glaciers covered half our hemisphere many times in the past, but plants and animals returned to blanket the land. What was once a globe of molten rock is now our solar system’s brilliant blue-green jewel. Nature is adept at finding ways to adapt and to recover. Life is meant to live.


That’s not to say that the past four months haven’t been difficult. Our world feels profoundly different from the one we left behind a mere 120 days ago. Now we’re standing at the edge of a new one, where familiar habits , businesses, and relationships will all be adjusted as the plagues of coronavirus and racial and economic inequality continue to spread. We will likely look back on the summer of 2020 as a bifurcation point: that spot in a curve where a trajectory changed and we took a different path from the one we were on. 

I constantly tell my children that the future is what we make it. It doesn’t just happen; it’s the collective sum and consequence of billions of continual choices. As we move forward, we can’t focus solely on the bad news, the setbacks, the carnage. While they’re important to note, and work to minimize, they’re too often the only story we hear. Progress, like life, grows on, all around us. Spring is our annual reminder of that; summer, the celebration of life’s bounty. In these pages, you’ll see your Wells Reserve continuing to develop, to work, and to plan. It’s what we do. It’s what it means to hope.

In the rubble created by this year’s disruptions and dislocations, treasures can still be found. For me, working from home and homeschooling were initially a mess, but ultimately I’ve discovered extra time for family, food, even exercise. Driving 90% less feels great and responsible. Professionally, it’s been deeply satisfying to see staff adapt to new ways of working and to see Science, writ large, rise to the challenge of the virus. For all the news of naysayers, deniers, and fatalists, most people have done their part, listened to the experts, and helped to flatten the curve. 

Our resilience is an encouraging sign for the larger problems still to come. There will always be problems, but there will also always be solutions to them. That’s how we move forward (and, alas, sometimes backward). We slosh between freshwater and salty, surplus and deficit, liberal and conservative, safety and danger, old and new. We are continually between two worlds: the now and the next. In that kind of cycle, it’s never a bad idea to keep a reserve.

From Watermark 37(1): Summer 2020

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