Virginia Lee’s book, Little House, scarily captures what I see happening all around me.
My parents bought this book when my brother and I were young and it was easily in our top 3 favorites. We read it over and over again. And now, ironicially, it seems to be the story I live in. That is…….the story of Development. We watched, powerless as they built over our baseball field. The place that holds some of my most delighted feelings of freedom. Where we used to play until it was too dark to see the ball. The place where I had some of my most athletic moves my body has ever made! and some of the most joyful things out of my mouth, expressed with wild abandon. Our Baseball field quietly got destroyed with no warning, no discussion, no apologies….just bulldozed one day. And the exact thing happened with our sledding hill. And our damn. A big ole house got built above us in the Hill. THe lady that moved in began to yell at us for working on our damn. A thing we happily did for years. It was the the best part about spring. Water fun off! We made these big ole damns all day, that if we worked hard enough on, we could swim in. and at the end of the day we would break them and watch as a torent of water rush out. It was a Euphoric moment, hard earned. We made sure everyone was around for it.
Our land was being developed. Nestled In the cool fresh air of the Rocky Mountains, just 45 min away from Denver….people wanted out of the city. Just as my parents had, long ago when they bought the land. I remember as a little girl being horrified that my Dad’s hair dresser had been “kicked out of her house so they could build a bigger road. How is that even a thing? The Big ole ominous GOVERNMENT can just come by and tell you, you have to leave your forever home??? Seemed Crazily unfair to my earnest mind that thought “fairness” was part of the backbone of our human lives. (oh how wrong I was)
The story of my child hood seems to follow me wherever I go. I have moved to some small towns and listen to the townspeople gripe about all the new development. I don’t say much, I just listen…….they go on and on and on and on. It’s extremely boring to listen to. But I recognize it is their way of processing a tragic horror that is taking place right in front of their eyes and with seemingly easeful forward momentum and total entitlement . The Earth is being violated. Our space is being violated. Our sense of peace and safety is being violated. It threatens our drinking water and clean air the gardens of Eden that we tend and tend us…..that keep us sane, are being violated. VIOLATIION is the WORST feeling in the whole wide world. It puts our very survival, into question.
And I’ve moved to yet another small town and been invited into some of the small circles that gather in people’s homes and guess what the talk is?? All the development! Here in Mexico, it seems like the Wild Frontier. The development is vivid. And because the corruption is so out in the open, unlike in the states where it is more hidden……….the sight of it, is shocking. People building in the arroyos, people navigating around height “rules” by constructing a hill and then building on top of that, thus wiping out the ocean view of all their neighbors*. People pulling whatever strings they can to ensure they have plenty of water………a quickly evaporating resource in this desert town that seems to be the new shangri la. Whew! It is heavy on the heart to see and feel and hear. Yet again. It makes me wonder how to best play my part……as one of the many newcombers. And it makes me think of our childhood Book. WHo knew that this story I so loved as a little girl, would be a main thread In my life story.
- interesting side note: The gringos want the views of the ocean. But the Mexicans want views of the mountains NOT the ocean. The mountain brings good things (water), the ocean brings bad things (hurricanes).