Grasshopper Soup: morning, mayhem and miracles | SierraSun.com
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Grasshopper Soup: morning, mayhem and miracles

Bob Sweigert
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE/TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Mornings like these are impossible to ruin. Waking up to the calm, saturated forest, feeling as pure and as serene as the radiant snow melting into the earth, so quiet you can almost hear the pines chanting grateful prayers of being alive.

As long as I donand#8217;t turn on the TV or read a newspaper everything should be just fine.

In an ice hockey game recently, two players were engaged in the typical, ceremonial fisticuffs while two referees stood idly by doing nothing. My day had been perfect up to that point. Thatand#8217;s what I get for hitting the power button.

Not that blatant, acceptable violence is anything new in ice hockey. The first live ice hockey game I ever saw was in 1970 or and#8216;71. I was astonished at the deliberate, unnecessary and brutal assaults on human beings.

We played hockey on the frozen lakes of Eastern Washington during college, and along the frozen Truckee River during some of the severe cold snaps back in the 80s, and had more fun than Canadian geese landing on a frozen lake. But I never saw anything like I saw the other day. It actually made me sick to my stomach to see so many face punches hitting their mark while the refs patiently twirled around doing lazy figure eights on their skates as if the fight was an officially sanctioned, integral part of the game. They might as well have been selling popcorn and beer.

Werenand#8217;t time-outs once used for taking care of injured players?

But mornings like these are no time for the age old, what-is-this-world-coming-to lament. Raise the national debt ceiling so we canand#8217;t see the termites. Find a fourth war to join; it should be easy. Hasten the collapse of capitalism. End our insatiable need for fossil fuels. Turn the Pentagon into a wellness institute for the establishment of yoga. Indoctrinate all our children into a meatless diet. Make them total vegans. Cover the fruited plains and purple mountains majesty with windmills, solar panels and organic gardens. Disband the military. Let the world go forth and multiply. Open all our borders to the wild, erratic, unpredictable natural forces of human vice and virtue (no matter how predictable they may be). De-fund the needle exchange program or not. Give Donald Trump the keys to the White House because, frankly Scarlet, I donand#8217;t give a damn.

Actually I do care, but why worry? Today has concerns of its own. Balancing our budget and controlling spending so our finances are all in the black will create certain difficulty and hardship for millions of people, but it will only get worse, much, much worse, for even more people if we put it off one more day.

End all foreign aid and close all the tax loopholes and business write-offs for corporations and the wealthy. Pull out of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya now. Keep an eye on our enemies with predator drones and female spies. I really donand#8217;t care.

The sun is shining. Spring is rushing up the American River canyons and blooming the eastern deserts. Longer days shine on the shadows of winter with warm light. Life stirs under the snow with the power and hope of new birth. The big trout still grace the waters below Fanny Bridge and laughter still abounds at Rosieand#8217;s Cafe on a Monday afternoon.

Wherever we build our homes, everything we hold dear is subject to the indifferent forces of nature. We have no choice but to accept the blessings and curses of life. In a world of clashing civilizations, nations destroying themselves from within and competing philosophies and visions tearing us apart, a day has already dawned when the mountain lion and a little fawn lay down together in the meadow high above Pole Creek, and the lion let the newborn go to survive another day, happy and unharmed.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 28 years.


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