Waiheke, Aotearoa New Zealand

July 26, 2020

Air.

pre-s. You can watch this letter's tree-filled video here. :)

Winter's finally wrapped its tendrils around this little cabin. Frigid air, snaking in through holes in the wall and floor. Entropy, reaching.

I get up. Make coffee. Feel grateful to be here. Alive. Watching manuka sway in the wind, stretch slowly for sun.

Feel the trees and plants all around me slow down.

It's a time for waiting. Breathing. Taking stock of your roots.

As often as I can manage, I think of the microbiology of plants. Chloroplasts ripping a carbon off of CO2, tossing clean oxygen aside, shipping the carbon downstream, then upstream, out to the very tip of a branch. The tiny construction crews working, building leaf after leaf.

It makes me feel the little machines inside me, so animal and opposite. Pulverizing plants with a side shot of oxygen to get that same carbon back. Building muscle and bone and skin. Burning every last bit of it into heat and movement.

It reminds me that this is the real world I live in.

Not the news. Not my laptop. Not the improbable collection of atoms sandwiched into my phone.

But this chain: sunlight, plants, me.

Air turned back to air, in the most elaborately beautiful way.

Each of us - eddies on the wind.

Have a full-breathed week,

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this detangling of a vicious cycle between social media and journalism. One of New Zealand's major media companies pulled out of facebook, and it's left people wondering something great - where did all the clickbait go?

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