Happy Solstice to everyone, and yes, the sun shines on everyone. I am a sun lover, feel good when the sun shines and I always look forward to its rebirth each year. However, the excitement of the solstice lightens with the fact that it heralds the winter. Over the last ten years, I have noticed a slight increase in summer temperature, but also colder, snowier winters. There was a severe cold spell last winter the likes of which I had never experienced, and it killed off half the squirrels around here.
When the weather is cold and snowy here, it is hot and dry somewhere else, and currently many areas around the planet are experiencing protracted heat with little rain. Australia is hot, dry, with many large wildfires burning out of control around Sydney. A couple of days ago, I looked at temperature around the world, and on that day, Australia stood out like a sore thumb. On the map, the color purple to dark purple brown indicate heat and Australia was hot and inflamed. While much of Australia was 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit, nowhere else in the world hit 100, nowhere in Africa or South America.
Africa is hot and dry, and 45 million Africans are or will soon experience food shortages. It is especially bad in eastern and southern Africa where crops are failing because of a lack of rain. In many areas, there is still food, but it is becoming expensive, too expensive for the poor. A new report says more than 45 million people are or will soon struggle to find enough food across 14 countries in Africa, due to the compounded effects of years of drought.
South America is hot and dry in some places, wet in others. Already occurring is accelerated glacial retreat in the Southern Andes Mountains, reducing water for farming, drinking, bathing, and so on. The same thing is happening all over the world in mountainous regions. In the lowlands like the Amazon basin, about three quarters the size of the United States has experienced so much deforestation in recent years that some researchers see it becoming a savanna. The rainforest is losing forest due to excessive heat, lack of rain, fire, and farming, to the extent that in a recent editorial in Newsweek, Thomas Lovejoy and Carlos Nobre wrote, “The precious Amazon is teetering on the edge of functional destruction and, with it, so are we.”
Over the next decades, hundreds of millions of people will be forced to leave their homes because of the effects of climate change, and I hope that people and countries become more tolerant of others, and care for others in need. Give them food, water, shelter, comfort, and so on.
Here is a verse from the Veda to delight in the Holy Way.
A Savior carries water to be together with the thirsty, and happy to chant the knowledge and illustrate by example, to inspire a life of giving and delight in the Holy Way.