We’re in limbo. As I write, it’s election day. We’re driving up the I-5, having spent the last week at a theatre conference in Arizona. Now we’re neither here nor there in any way. The outcome of the election is yet to be known. Our theatre friends and artist friends are now far away in every direction; our home and cats are still hours away.
I look out the car’s window and see mile after mile of the Central Valley, the land of bounty and plenty, but it feels so sterile. The trees are lined up for miles in military formation with bare ground at their feet. Many of them are almond trees, and have only a distant memory of their fling with the bees, whose furry bodies have been boxed and crated and trucked to some other location. There are no birds to be seen.
Some fields are bare, waiting for the machines and the water. They’re huge. Modern farm machines are high-tech, and I can almost imagine that they are equipped with GPS to navigate from one side of a field to the other in straight lines. No humans to be seen.
The highway is a solid ribbon of eighteen-wheelers, nose to tail at 65 miles per hour. Cars weave from lane to lane in order to go 80. Nobody is where they are, they’re all on the way to somewhere else. This is normal. Corporate agriculture is normal. This is how we get to feed and clothe and house ourselves. And if we need a snack, we can stop at a gas station and marvel at the many ways there are to package sugar and salt.
But there is beauty to be seen. The sun is getting low and the light is golden. The hills that can’t get tractored are covered with tawny grasses. The aqueduct that carries water south is a stunning blue.
Although the pundits are nattering on the radio, I’m doing my best to breathe and center. I have no idea what’s on the far side of limbo. As they say, tomorrow is another day.