It's my birthday---and it's beautiful. I am writing this from our living room, which has almost an entire wall of large windows. Outside, the afternoon sun hits the trees and lightens their various colors: mustard yellow, deep greeen, a lime green, purple like a cabernet. There isn't a cloud in the sky, and a light breeze lifts the leaves now and then. I would guess it's around 70 degrees.
Our daughter is playing with our cat. Our daughter is now sixteen months old and walking, proud of herself for petting the gato grande (as we call her) gently as the cat purrs and S giggles. It's beautiful. I could sit here forever.
There is so much I feel good about---simple joys like this, as well as the good energy unearthing itself here in Fresno tonight and currently in Bolivia (for some reason I am thinking about Latin America today). Tonight, in Fresno, the Dixie Chicks are playing at the Save Mart Center. I will not be there. But Peace Fresno, a fantastic organization, has arranged a high profile demonstration calling for the impeachment of 43. I would like to go to that. As the slogan goes, "86 43." There is a more interesting event at that campus tonight---Daniel Chacon reading from a new book in progess called So Easy. I will be there. I think Dan's writing is remarkable. Rudolfo Anaya agrees.
And at Democracy Now!, there is a great interview with Bolivian President Evo Morales, the first indigenous elected President in that country's history. He was elected ten months ago and has pledged to create bonds with, among others, Venezuela and Cuba. He has spoken openly against several U.S. led interests, including the demonization of the coca leaf, which is very commonly seen, consumed, chewed on (you name it) in Bolivia and Peru. In fact, I am wearing a yellow t-shirt right now that I got in Peru several years ago. In the center of the shirt is a green leaf, and the caption above it reads "La Hoja de coca no es droga" (The coca leaf is not a drug). In Lima, Cusco, La Paz, and other cities and towns I visited, the leaf is common as chamomile is here. But the U.S.'s warped drug policies and hypocritical "War on Drugs" wages on, while Bolivia remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemispehere, along with Haiti. Apparently, at the U.N. recently, Morales held up a coca leaf to drive home the point that it is not the evil substance the U.S. has made it (literally and figuratively).
It's my birthday. I got a couple of wonderful gifts. My wife always gets me great gifts. And I'm enjoying life because of these other gifts---the shift in political landscape: the House, the Senate, Fresno's City Council, the New Speaker of the House, and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Even the new elected leader in Nicaragua. Hallelujah.
Gato grande has moved to the window to watch the birds skipping along the small yellow roses. S, our daughter, is playing with a book about bears. And I am grateful for another year.