Grasshopper Soup: Will this new year be the same old story? | SierraSun.com
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Grasshopper Soup: Will this new year be the same old story?

Bob Sweigert
Grasshopper Soup

Here we are, newborn, thrust into the future on the faint, infant murmurings of 2009. All our dreams and expectations, every wish, hope and plan for a better year struggles to lift and move inexperienced arms and legs in a new direction, for the very first time. Like babes totally dependent on time, and the help of others, our necks may not be strong enough to hold up our own heads. How will our story be told this year?

We are the Pacific Crest. The spine of the Sierra Nevada is not made of sinew, cartilage, nerve and bone. The young mountain range stands as an eternal reminder of our own possibilities; solid rock inspiring us to make solid rock of our own backbone.

This year will not be about change in Washington, DC. It will not be about a good ski, or retail season. It will not be about “fixing” capitalism or health care . It will not be about alternative vehicles, going completely green, healing society, peace in the middle east or recycling Red Bull cans. 2009 will be about our own inner strength, shared truths and the growth of our spirit.

In capitalism, a strong economy is only as good as our collective desire to be honest and subservient to absolute ideals and to each other. The chance of that happening in a country of over 320 million is about as likely as straightening the Truckee River with a ski mitten and a toothpick, which may be easier than straightening our backbone.

As long as our ideals are arbitrary, or dictated only by our right to financially succeed, change won’t come. This last Christmas day we saw tragic evidence of the fact that our desperate need for economic survival can have deadly consequences.

This New Year baby came in kicking and screaming. The story is the same. Ancient battles continue to rage in Gaza. Cease fires mean nothing more than a perfect opportunity to strike again. Diplomacy has failed. Aggression has come to be expected. There will be no peace. Killing innocent people has been elevated to a religious act of martyrdom and devotion to God. The old ways do not work. A new story must be told.

The image of the new year as a child and the past year as Old Father Time is convenient, but shallow. Given the big picture, the world never seems to grow up. In many ways mankind struggles through the centuries like a helpless, ignorant babe abandoned in a snow drift. Only a miracle will help.

We live in the heart of what many seek. We have the lake, the air and the water, the snap of cold, warm southerly breezes, long silences, Basque art carved on aspen trees up Pole Creek, a history of the yearnings and pleasures of the ages. We have solitude.

Beside the Lake of the Sky there is no need to question friendship or doubt affection. There is no need to debate differences. The exchange of smiles and a warm greeting at dawn is all one really needs to start the day. Love lived is more powerful than love talked about. Spring has no special claim on renewal. Spring lives deep in the seed of winter.

So how will your story be told this year? A better new year is up to you, and to me. You can promote gang activity in King’s Beach or you can make your own life better. If you choose the first option you are in for a very, very long wait to find what your heart really desires. Option two guarantees instant gratification of the best kind.

Thank you for including me in your life and family all these years. It is an honor to have done the same for you. Thank you for not pitting your heart against mine, or demanding the scales tip to one side or even balance. There are two sides to every story, and the truth does not lie somewhere in the middle. It lives in our hearts either as a seed or a full grown tree. May all our stories be kindly told.


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