My head is spinning.
My heart is pounding.
My spirits are low.
Facts and observations from the recent Marine Naturalist Training Program offered by the Whale Museum fill my mind as well as a Dropbox full of PowerPoint presentations, a bulging three-ring binder, and my journal (digital and hand-written).
It will take me a while to process the information and emotions from this six-day course. My awe and love for the Salish Sea are greater than ever after immersing myself in facts, images, and observations about marine life. Not just the beloved Southern Resident Killer Whales, but also all the marine mammals, invertebrates, birds, and bugs that live in the Salish Sea. There’s even more life and beauty on the shores and in the water than I realized.
In the midst of the glory of the Salish Sea lies fear and deep grief. I’ve set myself the task to use my writing to add another voice to the cries for protection. Some days the celebration of the marine environment guides me and inspires me. On others, sadness and hopelessness dominate.
Today is one of those despairing days. I don’t like to write bad news, and I seek to find hope even in troubling times. But today, reading the Sea Doc Society’s latest blog post, What the Loss of 3 Southern Resident Killer Whales Means, leaves me feeling much like SeaDoc Society Science Director Joe Gaydos:
“There is nothing good about losing three animals in a population that was numbered at 76. In no way can I find a silver lining to this news.”
So many issues in today’s world plead for our attention—gun violence, racism, misogyny, opiate addiction, immigrant rights, to name just a few. I’m called to use my voice about another of them—climate change and climate justice. I’m trying to do this in some new (for me) prose forms that I hope will reach people’s hearts as well as their minds. Some days, like today, the work is especially hard. I ask you, dear readers, to hold me in your thoughts as I strive to make meaning of the current climate crisis.