Earth in upheaval?
There’s only one other section of the paper that has type as small as what you’re reading right now. In fact, it’s even smaller – such tiny type that reading, even with magnifying glasses perched low on my nose, proves almost impossible.
That’s the Public Notice section of the I-T, generally far in the back of the paper, always in a tiny font. Previously, given its difficult illegibility and its non-applicable message, I generally ignored it.
That was until a couple of years ago, at the very beginning of the housing crisis hitting Sonoma Valley. Earlier in the week, an acquaintance had come to me, tearfully confessing that her mortgage was in arrears and her house soon to be foreclosed. I was astonished; I didn’t know anybody who was losing their home. But, alas, true it was.
A quick perusal of my recycling bin retrieved the paper that broadcast her public notice of losing her home, a place she’d lived in and loved, remodeling along the way and shared with her children. She did, sadly, madly and unfairly lose her home to the bank that originally written her the loan.
Thence began my habit of reading the Public Notices, which I continue faithfully to this day. Initially, I would infrequently know the name, by acquaintance or friendship, of one or more of the victims of this expanding housing and banking crisis. Then, as time progressed, I recognized more and more of my friends and neighbors. Folks I knew and loved and cared about; folks who cared about their community and upheld their place within it. They were losing their homes. One by one, two by two, dozens by scores.
Last month there was a day with many notices and I knew every single one of those people, not all well, not all intimately, but enough to recognize their names and addresses, hopes and dreams.
They were folks who had given much to others, had participated in this community as volunteers, as workers, as friends and each name was important to our whole valley. Yet, they were in danger of losing their homes. Maybe by this week, they all have.
As this unnecessary crisis caused by greedy bankers continues to effect our Valley and disrupt lives, throwing too many among us into upheaval – I mourn. This is ever so wrong and ever so troubling.
I don’t know if there is anything any individual can do to change this. We are part of this raging river of destruction and must simply hold on the best we can. Here at Creekbottom we find the concept of “being underwater” slightly humorous. But in reality, there is nothing funny about it.
For me, part of that holding on, and the one thing that keeps me keeping on, is saying a little prayer for each of those people whose home demise I read about. If you’ve been in the Public Notices lately, know that I have offered my best wishes to you for healing, and continued good life. Life changed, no doubt, but life still worthy.
I don’t have a solution. I can’t imagine who among us does. But I will not close my eyes, I will keep watching, keep offering up my tiny prayers and keep offering friendship to all – the rich, the poor, the destitute, the discouraged, as well as the wealthy and celebratory. What will you do to brighten somebody’s life today?
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Share your neighborhood news with friends and acquaintances in Glen Ellen. Call or write me at 996-5995 or P.O. Box 518, GE 95442. Or email me at Creekbottom@earthlink.net. Glen Ellen chatter rarely requires timeliness; however, if your news does, please be sure to contact me at least three weeks before the run date.