Rays of Hope: Chapter 38

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We passed 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the USA. Remember back when the President said with no mitigation, we could have 400-500,000 deaths? We’re passed that catastrophic milestone.

Here’s a link to the tool developed by professors at Georgia Tech. Maybe it will help you make the decision to stay home.

CoCo gets her second shot of the Pfizer vaccine tomorrow. The infection rate here goes down as the vaccination rate goes up.

Chapter 38

My progress on May His Tribe Increase is floundering. Eldie and his brothers are so upbeat, I’m having a hard time keeping up with them.

Today is my birthday! I wonder how my real world experiences will impact my distopian world.

If you’re here for the first time, and you’re interested in starting at Chapter 1 of Rays of Hope, click here.

“It’s not just a story?” Ray says.

The ride back to her first home, the home she had no memory of, seemed shorter and less jolting than the ride through Wisconsin. She no longer worried about careening off the road and the vibration and noise somehow seemed almost subliminal. Well, at least enough so that she could pull out her notebook and write a few sentences before her head and stomach heaved in sympathy with each other.

Don’t look down, Marla had said to her. Look out the window and search for birds again.

Marla went on to explain how reading and writing in the car mixed up the brain. Your ears are telling your brain that you’re moving, and your eyes are telling it you’re still. Your brain can’t make sense of it, so it’s trying to reboot by sending a message to your stomach to vomit.

Marla often uses the word reboot to mean reset or restart. Ray sort of understood the vomiting bit because anytime she got sick and vomited, she did momentarily feel better. Her search for birds turned out to be in vain, but the effort settled her head and stomach.

Ray took one of Taedan’s hands in hers. “Tell me the truth, not a story.”

“Well, at one time, we thought it was just a myth, an ancient way of looking at the world,” said Taedan. “Something people thought up to explain what they didn’t know.”

“They call the Earth Gaia,” says Marla.

“Or Terra,” pipes in Trumble. He sets mugs of chicory tea on the table for them. The must smell of chicory reminds Ray of the dead grass and red earth she raked through her fingers.

“More modern people called her Mother Nature,” says Taedan.

“Tell about your work,” says Ray. “I want to know what scientists say, not some ancient people who don’t know anything.” She jerks her hand away from Taedan and stamps one foot.

Taedan takes hold of one of Ray’s elbows and pulls her to his lap. He sweeps her hair behind her ear with one of his rough fingers. Ray feels herself leaning against her will toward his hand.

“I’m only trying to lay the groundwork for you.”

“Just tell me what is.”

“Like with any story,” says Marla. “It’s impossible to understand the end without knowing the beginning.” She hold her mug of chicory in both hands and blows. A small cloud of steam twirls toward Ray and she involuntarily sighs.

“Some people believe that within the old stories lies wisdom,” continues Taedan. “Gaia, or the earth, is a living being, Everything that makes up the Earth makes up Gaia, and it’s all connected.”

“Taedan’s data indicate there’s truth to that theory,” says Trumble. His eyes glisten with excitement. “Gaia is bigger than humans.”

“Of course the Earth is bigger,” says Ray. “Anyone with half a brain knows that.”

“The mycelium is the key,” says Maya.

“Or at least it’s a key to understanding.” Taedan tilts Ray’s chin so he can look in her eyes.

“Mycelium connects and communicates different parts of the Earth’s life forms. From what I’ve gathered, it can even help return the soil to a healthy form. And it can ‘tell’ seeds when it’s safe to grow.”

“How can a fungus tell anything anything?”

A smile slips up one side of Taedan’s face and lights up his eyes. “It’s chemistry,” he says. “And, I’m convinced it’s a miracle, too.”

“And,” says Marla. “It’s been happening as surely as you’ve grown from a helpless baby to a strong-willed child.”

Taedan encircled Ray’s waist and pulled her a little closer.

“Exactly,” he said. “The Earth has been slowly healing. All I’ve done is notice and encourage.” He rests one cheek on Ray’s head and reaches a hand across the table to Marla. She returns his offer.

In spite of impatience pulling her chest in a knot, Ray feels a warmth tickle her stomach and rise up to the back of her throat.

“You mean, things could someday grow again?”

“You proved it’s already happening.”

Thanks for coming along for the ride.

I love the Gaia theory. Don’t you? Of course, we must all do our part, or at least give our Earth room to heal.

I hope you are enjoying Ray’s journey.

Until next Friday, when we’ll both learn more.


Reading is like food for the soul. u003cbru003eWriters like to eat biscuits, too.

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