President Obama addresses our warming planet, and scores

One of the more poetic visuals of the speech was Obama wiping his brow because, well, it was so freaking warm outside. Quite the clever touch, Obama speech team.
One of the more poetic visuals of the speech was Obama wiping his brow because, well, it was so freaking warm outside. Quite the clever touch, Obama speech team.

President Obama revealed his Climate Action Plan earlier today to a crowd of students and reporters at Georgetown University. For those of us in climate activist circles, this has been a much anticipated moment, a speech that if anything exceeded expectations, although it still fell short of putting our minds at ease as we consider what the planet in 2050 and 2030 and, heck, even sooner than that, will look like.

As the President made clear, climate change is a reality: “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society.” Accordingly, his Climate Action Plan includes major investments to American infrastructure, agriculture and emergency response that will help us cope with a world where even +1°C has set off some major dominoes.

In addition to these “adaption” measures that fortify America’s infrastructure against a changing climate, the President also laid out “mitigation” measures that reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted nationwide. Of these mitigation efforts (which do include strategic clean energy investments), it looks like the most significant will be establishing carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.

Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency is required to protect the American public from pollution known to be hazardous to human health. Seeing that global warming, which presents a major threat to human health (for example, by making infectious disease increasingly difficult to contain by normal geographic boundaries), is caused by carbon dioxide, the argument is that the President has the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from sources such as power plants.

There may be some resistance to the regulations. After all, for some, using the Clean Air Act to control a greenhouse gas (as opposed to, say, smog) may require a new way of thinking. But the logic is sound, and the Supreme Court actually ruled as such back in 2007.

That all said — the EPA regulations and other executive actions, while bold, are far from being a full and complete solution to nip global warming at the source.

We still are unsure of the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline, a proposed project to transport the incredibly dirty tar sands oil of Canada, a danger so severe that it drew 40,000 activists to Washington D.C. this February to protest its construction. Many of us were encouraged to hear that the pipeline was even mentioned in the speech — that means the President hears us — and the logic he is using to make his decision is sound: “Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation’s interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.” Knowing how horrific the tar sands will be for the climate, the only way I can imagine the Keystone XL being acceptable is if Congress passes some sort of carbon tax immediately beforehand.

While the President did mention the value of natural gas as a transition fossil fuel, there was no mention of the fracking boom for natural gas here in the Midwest, a sinister 21st-century gold rush that is recklessly extracting valuable natural gas at a rate so increasingly fast, nearly a third of it is being wasted on the spot, making it nearly as bad for atmospheric carbon levels as the other fossil fuels it supposedly is replacing.

And, at a personal level, I noticed that there was no mention of the coal lines running through Pacific Northwest, the place I consider home. Even if with new regulatory guidelines, we get our domestic coal power plant emissions under control, we potentially could still be exporting this dirty fuel source to be burned in a different place, only to enter the same atmosphere.

While the promo video for the speech led me to expect that the President would tap into religious sentiments by talking about protecting God’s creation here in America, he actually went as far as to reference Genesis — you know, God saw all that he made, which included much more than just America, and saw that is was very good.

The President accordingly deserves praise for his tact tackling of the moral ambiguity of climate change in developing countries. It is worth quoting at length:

Though all America’s carbon pollution fell last year, global carbon pollution rose to a record high. That’s a problem. Developing countries are using more and more energy, and tens of millions of people entering a global middle class naturally want to buy cars and air-conditioners of their own, just like us. Can’t blame them for that. And when you have conversations with poor countries, they’ll say, well, you went through these stages of development — why can’t we?

But what we also have to recognize is these same countries are also more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than we are. They don’t just have as much to lose, they probably have more to lose.

Developing nations with some of the fastest-rising levels of carbon pollution are going to have to take action to meet this challenge alongside us. They’re watching what we do, but we’ve got to make sure that they’re stepping up to the plate as well. We compete for business with them, but we also share a planet. And we have to all shoulder the responsibility for keeping the planet habitable, or we’re going to suffer the consequences — together.

The President is responding by establishing free trade in clean energy tech, ending public financing of the unsafest coal plants overseas, and spearheading The U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Finance Initiative that will unlock nearly $1 billion in clean energy financing, along with a similar project in the Asia/Pacific region that will unlock nearly $6 billion!

Nevertheless, the challenge of global warming remains severe. It certainly lacks easy or convenient political answers. It is something that any President, even with the ridiculously incredible powers of the Executive Branch of government, is able to solve by himself or (perhaps someday) herself.

In the big picture, what President Obama’s plan chalks up to is a great gift to all of us — the gift of more time.

For us, it is more time to figure out what the reality of climate change means for how we go about practicing sustainability and resilience within our own personal lifestyles, our communities, our churches, our schools, and our workplaces. For those of us who are better off financially, we need to figure out how to best stand up for the poor not simply abroad but here in America — those whose fossil-fuel-generated electricity consumption makes up bigger proportion of their tight budget, and those who live in places like the Lower Ninth Ward (devastated by lives lost in Hurricane Katrina) as compared to those who live in places like the Jersey Shore (devastated by property damage caused by Hurricane Sandy).

President Obama’s plan also means more time for the Republican Party. In the sportsball that is politics, it looks to me that it is now the GOP’s turn to respond. The ball is in their court. They can throw it out of bounds (that is, continuing the practice of climate denialism), they can just drop it (display utter apathy for anything but the status quo), pass it back to the other team and let them score (follow Obama’s leadership), or score with a trick shot of their own (suggest a market-based approach to addressing climate change, instead of a heavily regulated bureaucratic solution).

(Confession: I was a bit reluctant to use this sports metaphor. Because, in reality, shouldn’t the Democrats and Republicans be playing for same team, the same common good?)

It may be hard for any single one of us to influence the President in any profound way. Any single letter you or I send or phone call you or I make is really just a drop in a way too big bucket. But we might have a shot at influencing the Republican Party, a party that is hurting for relevancy after 2012 and has to be growing open to good ideas. If we can’t change the minds of establishment GOPers like Senators Jim Inhofe or Mitch McConnell, we can at least support our GOP state congressmen and governors as they work to implement the EPA carbon regulations in their particular state contexts.

It is worth our effort because, ultimately, the problem is not that the President is not doing enough. Even if Obama could do more on climate, and as much as I care about climate, I am not a one-issue citizen, and do not want Obama to spend all of his political capital in one place. Rather, the problem is that the country is not moving forward together on this issue. Barack Obama has done his part. Now it is time for the rest of us to figure out, in our own spheres of influence, how to follow suit.

Disclaimer: The reason I talk like I know something about climate change is because I serve as the Campaigns Assistant and a Steering Committee member for Young Evangelicals for Climate Action. That said, nothing here necessarily reflects any official position of Y.E.C.A. whatsoever. Just my own thoughts that I want to contribute to public discussion.

To read other reactions from young evangelicals regarding President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, head over the Y.E.C.A. website.

Other posts on this blog where I talk about climate change: What if the church were to save the planet?Building a Movement Stronger than the WeatherUpward Trends Got You Down? Climate, Debt and FutureBig Oil and Matthew 5:43-48, and the 5-part series the Gospel > Global Warming.

President Obama addresses our warming planet, and scores

The distance between home and home

[Warning: this is a blog post that doesn’t resolve itself. It comes with no tidy ending or wrapped up in a witty conclusion, it is just documenting experience and that’s just fine because I’m only a twenty-something, after all.]

There is a petty dissonance down the middle of my mind, about 2000 miles wide, roughly the distance between home and home. And I know I’m not alone in this.

On my 1.5 mile bike commute to work, I see two Subarus. First, a Forester, with an Oregon license plate. Second, an Outback, that while its owner has traded the Doug Fir plate for an Abe Lincoln, the rear window still prominently features a “Heart-in-Oregon” sticker.

I have not met the owners of these Subarus, as much as I want to. I want to ask them if they have also noticed that, from a road-side perspective, our state (2) has beat out the more likely contenders by a function of population and osmosis: New York (0), Texas (0) and California (0). I want to ask them why they too have decided to play the Oregon Trail in reverse.

Nobody truly knows what makes an Oregonian an Oregonian, but like these Subarus I have through little ways resisted assimilation to the city I have found myself in. I still have my Oregon’s Driver’s License. My shipping address, which changes from lease to lease, is different from my billing address, thanks to parents who have stayed put. Even though I walk by Alderman Ameya Pawar’s office on the way to picking up groceries at Jewel Osco, I still am registered to vote in Oregon’s 1st congressional district. I have a sticker on my laptop that proudly proclaims my tribal, er, state identity to the whole coffee shop.

Not that Chicago is a bad place. I really do like Chicago actually, or at least the neighborhoods I have spent time in. I like that just about everything I need is walking distance, I like the fact that there is always something going on, I like having centrally located train stations and airports that make the nation and world readily accessible.

If I had to, I could settle down and live here and be happy.

I could start buying things, like furniture, that do not fit into checked luggage.

So what’s holding me back?

Do I think Oregon just simply scores as the better place? — No. Places are not meant to be quantified.

Do I miss going on runs through forests with elevation changes? — No. Because I’d just as easily miss run-by-witnessing the quirkiness of people made possible by Chicago’s density of population.

Do I just like being different? — Maybe. But even so, that is probably less a weird psychological-ego thing than it is an Oregon cultural artifact.

What I think it comes down to is this: Oregon simply has shaped me in more ways than Chicago has. From the way I think to the way I dress to the way I spend my time and money. If tomorrow I were go and spend a year in New Orleans, or in Tanzania, or on the moon, I would tell people that I am from Oregon. Not Chicago.

I am not complaining about my current situation. I am here by choice, as opposed to the refugees and exiles who are here as a last resort. Nevermind that the “who am I/where am I” question is much easier than the “who are we/where are we” question: a surprising number of my friends have fallen in love not just across state lines but over international borders, and are having to figure out these questions not only in tandem with another but through concrete decisions.

So, as disorientating as it may be, the incongruence between home and home may actually be a normal part of the human experience. A formative part, even.

Maybe there is not supposed to be a right answer. If there is, however, I suspect it is not found by asking “which place should I call home” but rather “did I show up today, or did I run away?” At the very least, we are more likely to know how to answer the latter question.

That all said: my Oregon driver’s license, my state-issued identification card, expires this August. Under ORS 803.355 (and yes, I did look this up), I can only renew if I intend “to remain in the state or, if absent, to return to it.”

Not that the DMV employee is going to ask. Besides, I am confident I could make a legal case for my intention to return to Oregon in the eight-year period I would extend my domicileship, mostly revolving around the fact I see myself going to grad school sometime in the next eight years and that decision is probably going to shut the door on Chicago and there will be a transition period in which Oregon is the only place I could call home.

The more important question is this: am I going to continue resisting assimilation? If growing up in Oregon taught me anything, it taught me the importance of celebrating the places we find ourself in, whether the mountains or the valleys or the coast or the city. I am thankful for this lesson, but how shall I best thank the teacher?

By snubbing the Illinois driver’s license, am I showing up or am I running away?

I have no clue.

I am curious to see what I decide.

The distance between home and home

Portlandia in Christian Conversion

Before I get to Portland, I need to start in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There is a theologian there by the name of Kä Mana, who tells the story of a traditional African priest meeting with the head of the Catholic mission. The traditional priest had seen not only the truth in this “gospel of Jesus Christ” but witnessed how it had grabbed a hold of  and brought a new energy onto his entire village. One day, after communion had been served at the mission, the traditional priest looked his Catholic counterpart in the eye and said, “I know that one day or the other, your ‘sacrifice’ will replace mine, the word of Jesus Christ will replace my ancestral and ancient word without destroying it. I am going to die a happy man because I know there will always be a sacrifice made in our village. That is very important. I hand over to you. Continue with what our ancestors started, and of which I was the high priest.”

This “gifting of culture” is what could be called a conversion story. I was at a seminar on contextual theologies last year, where Andrew Walls (a wise old guy with a British accent) gave the opening lecture. According to Walls, conversion is less about content (some would call dogma) and more about direction. Conversion is turning what is already there, in terms of culture and tradition, towards Christ, instead of starting from scratch.

“Thanks to Christ,” Kä Mana says, “we can look at ourselves as we are in the founding myths of our destiny, to discover that we are neither angels nor demons, but human beings in search of the meaning of our existence, building our society by promoting the positive values of life, and by fighting against the negative values of death that are permanently interwoven with them.”

This all has to do with Portland, at least in my perspective. I am wrapping up a summer of living in a hub of the Rose City’s network of intentional Christian communities, doing some Sunday morning church hopping, and coming back from runs with a free (and sweaty) copy of the Portland Tribune in hand only because the front page read “Black ministers lead push against city’s gang violence” or (more relevant to this piece) “Will churches survive in land of vegans, nature lovers?”. My hunch is that these same ideas about “conversion of culture” work just as well in the post-Christian Portland, Oregon context as they do in the pre-Christian African village.

Yes, a statue like this can be found in “post-Christian” Portland.

I do want to be careful however, as Portland is a quite heterogeneous city. Even if my Chicago friends assail Portland for its supposed lack of diversity, there are still many local subplots that represent real, alive and breathing, human beings. For the sake of simplicity (this is a blog post, nothing more), I am going to focus on one dominant strand of local narrative; the quirky, youthful, thoughtful vision of a deliberately different lifestyle that has been captured and defined by the TV series Portlandia.

From the state that brought the nation bottle recycling, I think it makes sense to talk about “redemption value” when speaking of what the American church has to gain by being present in Portlandia. This essentially post-Christian culture is a space to explore, not a vacuum to (re)fill. Kä Mana thinks the church in Africa can become the “theatre for the globalisation of love and humanness”, similarly, I think the Portlandian church has something positive to spread throughout the larger American church. The surface was scratched when Donald Miller wrote Blue Like Jazz, reflecting on his experiences at Reed College, but there is much more to go.

To be clear to my non-Christian friends happening to read this, I am not talking about proselytization or weird strategies on how to effectively save souls. This is a conversation addressed towards the church about how engagement with the Portlandia ethos can help the American church be a better church. I don’t know why you would be interested, but feel free to eavesdrop.

Let me get started with some eavesdropping of my own. Someone who (by outlook if not presently by geography) qualifies as Portlandian, stated “Life is absurd. God is love. We are free.” This simple statement struck me as a near-perfect statement of Portlandian spirituality. It is this mantra that I want to explore further (and if you happen to be the one who wrote this mantra, you are totally welcome to claim it. I would apologize for not asking, but I think you’re cool with it.)

Life is absurd.

For some, this is the existential statement par excellence, the motto of the stereotypical Portland State philosophy student with Camus in one hand and a cigarette (or not, but whatever it is it rhymes with not) in the the other.

The Christian apologist would contend that the observation of absurdity implies some sort of yardstick on which to measure such a statement. Can’t see shadows without sunshine, can’t see absurdity without order. Rightfully so, but the clever Portlandian (and she is clever) does not automatically assume God’s name is on this yardstick. Instead, she will point to the mountains as her measure, those glacial rocky spires mocking our downtown skyscrapers of Babel. Skyscrapers which, by the way, may be revealed as mere sandcastles when the big one hits.

Continue reading “Portlandia in Christian Conversion”

Portlandia in Christian Conversion

Blackberry Economy

It might seem unusual, but recently the image popped into my head of the economy as being quite like a blackberry bush.

Not a normal thought, perhaps, but it seems as good a season as any for such an image to come to fruition. I had cultivated the soil this spring with a semester-long course on the history of economic thought, with a cast of characters ranging from Aristotle to Marx. Then, this summer was spent interning at a charitable trust, where I spent months watching and helping an incredible endowment inject millions of dollars into the nonprofit sector of the Pacific Northwest. Now, as my time here ends and I start facing the job market in earnest, I am beginning to feel the pressures of the so-called Great Recession.

And, of course, we are in the middle of the blackberry harvest.

Adam Smith (a man of great genius and regardless of what you think about his legacy, should be commended for putting something as utterly incomprehensible as “the wealth of nations” into manageable language) used the insights of physics, particularly Sir Issac Newton’s, as the stepping stone to explain what he saw happening in and between the factory, home and marketplace.

If Smith used a branch of science to write a book on the economy, I feel totally legitimate in using a blackberry metaphor for a blog post.The singular most important thing to note about blackberries are that they are delicious. Lately, as I have been coming back home from runs in the afternoon summer heat, I spend my “cooldown” walking around the backyard munching the blackberries growing along our fence. Friends and family are making blackberry pies, cobblers, salads. All the extra blackberries get thrown in the freezer for jam-making. And of course Burgerville (the Pacific Northwest’s answer to In-N-Out) is offering its seasonal blackberry shakes, smoothies, lemonades and ice cream sundaes. There very well should be a harvest festival downtown, where people parade down the street dressed as blackberries. It is, after all, a good time of year.

So it is with the economy. Sometimes we overburden the economy with the sour feelings we get from hearing about downturn and unemployment on the news, but ultimately the economy is what brings us good things. Better than you or I could have produced out of our own willpower and isolated resources anyhow. If you think this is untrue, think about the computer you are using to read this post. Pretty sure that came from the economy.

Can backyard blackberries be called backberries? Please?

But there is a shadow side to the blackberry, something that not even Burgerville, with all of its emphasis on corporate responsibility and buying local-organic, will dare mention.

Wanna know the secret?

You are going to have to lean in close. Come, get closer to that computer you got from the economy.

Ready? Okay.

The blackberry is not from around here. It’s an invasive species.

“Whaaat?” That’s right. Our prized blackberry is actually a “himalayan blackberry”, and the last time I checked, Mt. St. Helens does not belong to a mountain range called the Himalayas.

This is why a horde of blackberries grow on the fence by my house, why there are always extras left over to throw in the freezer. When a blackberry bush is left to “grow naturally”, without any human consideration or care, it becomes a weed. Those long, prickly vines grow and coil and choke out the other species more finely-tuned to the balance of the Cascadian ecosystem.

Just like how the blackberry is at once as natural as any plant and as unnatural any alien, so it is with our economy. Our economy operates seemingly by a nature all to itself, to the laws of supply and demand and principles of monetary flow. But if we look at our cities and factories and even our cultivated farmland, what we see are tracts of land quite different from what they would have “naturally” been tens of thousands of years prior.

Even though every season the blackberry grows, that growth does not necessarily mean more blackberries are available for picking. A tall blackberry bush might grow so tall that maybe only Nicolas Batum can reach the new berries on top. Even worse, when a blackberry bush grows in towards some sort of wall or barrier, we lose access to an entire part of the perimeter that is ripe for picking. Pro-growth and pro-berry usually go together, which is why it is all the more important that we draw attention to those occasions that they do not.

Like taking care of a blackberry bush, when we think about our economy, the first question should not be maximizing growth. Rather, we need to make sure we can translate growth into something that we most (or perhaps all) of us can access and benefit from. Do we have the growth capacity? Sure, there may be some legitimacy to trickle-down economics, but if the rate of growth outpaces the rate of trickle something is bound to get waterlogged.

I can’t omit the thorns. As every kayaker who has been caught in a creekside bramble knows, a poorly-placed blackberry plant can be an absolute killjoy. It is bound to happen from time to time, but nobody is going to excuse the blackberry as an innocent bystander that should just be left alone. Similarly, any glance at a news headline declaring layoffs or new pollution recordings should tell us that our economy, fruitful or not, still has plenty of thorns. Especially nowadays it seems.

Some of you may remain unconvinced, and I suppose that is alright. It is only a metaphor after all, and no matter how useful every metaphor is limited. But I challenge you to consciously consider what are the metaphors or other mental aids you commonly use to think about the economy. Do you think of it a machine, something that “the government should rev up”? Or maybe like a building, needing a good “foundation for future growth”? Do you think of the economy as a person, prone to fits of “depression”? How about as water, where “investments will flow” and “assets could evaporate” and “culmulative successes should spillover”? And I would be amiss to not mention that for many who are facing unemployment and overwhelming debt and the like, the economy is straight “hell.” All these too are metaphors, and like my blackberry metaphor, they have limits to their explanatory power.

For the more convinced, a final note about the blackberry. While the invasive himalayan blackberry is what conquers our backyards and our farmers markets, there is actually a variety of blackberry native to the Pacific Northwest. It is called the rubus ursinus, or “bramble bear.” A native plant in tune with the ecosystem, the bramble bear blackberries are difficult to grow and to harvest, and have a sort of “explosive tenderness” to them that makes shipping impossible. If you are up to the challenge, you can grow them at home, although you might have better luck finding them in the wild.

I have never had one, but rumor has it they are some of the best tasting around.

But the bramble bear blackberry does give me one more important lesson about the economy – sometimes the things that taste best in life are the things that cannot be delivered by means of economic prosperity.

Blackberry Economy

The Simple Thrill of Getting Wet

There is a magnetic pull between a body of water and the human soul. Whether a physical need or a spiritual symbol, water floods the imagination in a wildness that becomes both pure and sensual. Chemist and theologian alike celebrate the simplicity of the substance. Water is the scarce resource that lies over seven-tenths of earth’s surface – it is not that we do not have enough of it, but that we always thirst to embrace that which cannot be grasped. And so we have beach houses and baptisms and baths and bottles of Evian.

One of the earliest dreams I can remember (I couldn’t have been any older than four) was of an impossibly vertical water-park attraction that used the force of water-jets to propel anyone willing into an experience that could best be described as an upside-down water slide. Lodged in my mind with all the colorful vividness that only the early nineties could provide, the images of seeing child and adult alike being shot out of the end of the ride, overwhelmed with laughter and awe, have remained intimate illustrations of the thrilling power of water.

Yet, somewhere in my childhood, there developed in myself a hesitation towards getting wet. I would be the kid who could spend an entire day at the pool and never get more than a toe in the water. At camp, the one time I would get in the water would be for the mandatory swim test, to get the wristband that proved I could swim but would never do anything with the privilege. This hesitation is something I am only recently beginning to understand, and therefore only recently beginning to get over.

Like just about any Willamette Valley youth growing up in a decently-funded public school system, I would take field trips with my class to the Oregon coast. Unlike our Californian cousins, we would wear fleeces instead of swimsuits. At guaranteed temps of between 50-60ºF, the “educational fun” of the coast was usually walking over the tidepools and looking for sea anemones and starfish. The true game would be about trying to avoid getting wet by either a slippery rock and an incoming wave. If we failed, our cotton socks or pant legs would be chillingly damp for the rest of the day.

Wet is wild, wet is awkward. We have specialized clothing for getting wet which solves part of the problem, but we still have to get into our swimsuits (and self-image issues can make this additional step awkward for some people). Sometime after we get wet, we usually have to dry off quickly. Sometimes it is about our own personal comfort, often it is before rejoining the normal patterns of civilization (think of your own example here). Even when we have dried off, our wet clothes and towels are still causing puddles for everything they come in contact with. The same problem with leaving the beach essentially goes with a day in the snow or even a walk in the rain.

Dry is safe, dry does not have consequences. And while the clear-headed among us do not see what the big deal with changing into swimsuits before getting wet and drying off after getting wet is, I think our instant-gratification over-protection prone culture is clouding our courage. Because I know I am not the only one like myself, trying to figure out why I long for the water but am hesitant to jump straight in.

Imagine a person you know, any person. Got an image in your mind? Good. Now imagine that person with a bucket of water dumped over their head. How does the person change? Their posture, their attitude, their sense of adventure?

There is perhaps nothing more uncivilized than splashing water, droplets spraying every which way and forceful waves knocking us off our feet. It is raw, unreasonable fun. The human manifestation of this was the biblical John the Baptist, whose camel-hair clothes and caveman diet was a protest against the constrictions of tradition. It was only after John’s ritual of water that Jesus went from being a talented youngster praised by everyone in the temple to a dangerous revolutionary in the eyes of the synagogue, worthy of being tossed off the cliff.

Take none of this to mean that I believe we are meant to be mermaids / mermen, or that mas aqua will be the solution to all of civilized society’s problems. The water can destroy and expose like a hurricane. But even the desert needs a little bit of moisture, lest the ground become cracked and barren. That even the most civilized amongst us need to splash around a bit to keep the basic human element in us alive and growing. That sometime the best defense against the rain is not a roof or an umbrella but simply not caring.

And, so, if there is a secret to experiencing the thrill of getting wet, it is this: leave the need to impress, the need to conform and the need to walk around the dirt without turning it into mud, leave all those needs behind and wash them off in the waves and rain. Turn joy inside out, from a goal into a commitment. Celebrate the gift that water is, and then only later be thankful that someone invented the towel.

This is the second of three essays I drafted during a spring break trip to Florida. The first one was The Simple Pleasure of Being Lost.

The Simple Thrill of Getting Wet