10 news interviewed a woman who called herself simply Susan, who explained last night she'd slept in a house worth 1.5 million that now is worthless (at least worth less, by any accounting). I can't remember exactly in what year people started telling people they'd just purchased a "home," giving little consideration to the truth that no structure deserves that name unless it's earned it over a long course of time, heartache, experience, celebration and just plain living. But now I'm thinking that may have been happening long before I first heard it, since the four years I served a congregation in a highly upscale suburban community (neighborhood?) amounted to cultural anthropology field work for me! Culture-shocked, for the first time ever I heard people referring to "parents" and talking about someone named "Mom."Landslide
I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
till the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love
Can the child within my heart rise above
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides
Can I handle the seasons of my life
Well, I've been afraid of changing
cause I've built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I'm getting older too
Oh, take my love, take it down
Climb a mountain and turn around
If you see my reflection in the snow covered hills
Well the landslide will bring it down...
Land, landed, at-home, landslides and changing tides...
Throughout the Hebrew scriptures, though possibly most poignantly in Deuteronomy-Joshua, God's promise, provision and realization of the gift of land surrounds the texts and dances around the narratives, as land brings God's covenant people to themselves, draws them closely together and nearer to the One Who provides the Land and commands stewardship thereof. In the days and weeks to come the local media will show a lot of the people and families whose lives and dwelling-structures this Wednesday's landslide has brought way, way down to unusable size. Indeed they had climbed a mountain, as the road to Soledad rose a couple miles high, and likely they enjoyed reflecting on the experience. Back in High Desert City some of the most expensive houses, or homes, precariously perched like balanced rocks insanely high up on the East Bench, where one of the caseworkers in the welfare office where I worked during the months I was on the Emergency Work Program suggested you'd doubtless get a nosebleed just going up the hill to get home to your house if you lived there. Here in Paradise USA the windows of the houses often mirror blue and clouds from the sky, and sometimes it's easy to imagine the shapes of the clouds in the skies reflect the forms of the houses just a little lower than the heavens. Today's landslide has brought some hopes, dreams, lives and "homes" way down from their aspirations to reach the heavens. What now and what's next? I'll be checking in, but meanwhile remember, I live on a mesa, in one of the most anonymous, most anomic neighborhood (communities?) in the entire lower forty-eight, and no landslide is likely to unsettle us here.