How to make gravy, Ep. 5

Growing up in Australia I was always fascinated by the geography of the United States. In Australia we have only a handful of major cities all of which are 12+ hours drive apart so you tend to fly between cities more-so than drive. So when I was invited to relocate to San Diego in 2005 (I literally had no idea where San Diego was when I was asked…I had to ‘Yahoo’ search it back in the day), I decided that I was going to road-trip as much as possible in an effort to explore the smaller towns along great highway drives that I had only seen in the movies.

15+ years later I can honestly say that I could drive pretty much the entirety of California blind-folded having driven almost every freeway & old-Highway stretch across this beautiful state. This past week was another one of those trips as I drove from Sacramento down to San Diego, out to the Coachella Valley and back to Sacramento on a different route. Over the course of these 4 days I experienced various climates including a chilly Sacramento morning, gorgeous San Diego days and really intense wind-gusts in Palm Springs & Desert Hot Springs which makes absolute sense given that there are 4,000+ wind turbines harnessing wind energy technologies in that region.

Driving along Interstate 5 you see environmental & climate change signs pleading for governmental assistance for our agricultural communities, in addition to the ever-so-pungent cattle stations that no matter how much you close up the car still seem to penetrate the cabin – an inescapable reminder of the effect of the concentrated methane gases wafting up into the atmosphere. I thought about all of this along my drive while listening to the reporting of the big-freeze happening in Texas and thinking about the increasing number of environmental events around the country and how our collective contributions, both small and large, are impacting our region and our future. All of it overwhelming and exhausting to think about if I’m being honest.

As my drive last week continued I switched my thinking over to SDAF, specifically the upcoming OH! San Diego program and the enormous effort to coordinate the event that spans north, south & east counties of San Diego. The idea that during a second year of Covid, that dozens of volunteers would work for months to coordinate a virtual program for the public to connect with some of our region’s most exciting communities is so fantastic and I’m so grateful for the generosity of our team, to our highlighted communities, and the sponsors & partners that have committed both resources & funds to make it happen again this year. The connection here being that my own sense of adventure for traveling across California relates to the very spirit of the OH! San Diego program – it’s a free opportunity to venture out (or virtually stay in) and experience a new part of our region.

I’m not a great writer by any means, I much prefer sketching to writing, but I lay out all of this in my own rambling kind of way in an effort, at least in my own head, to be reminded of the grandeur of the challenges we face globally but with the optimism that together in our own communities we can make a difference through participation & education.

So, to wrap up this week’s post I wanted to share a trailer for a documentary called ‘Kiss the Ground’ that popped up in my feed upon my return to Sacramento. It’s available on Netflix and well worth a watch. Oh, and its narrated by Woody Harrelson who can do no wrong, so there’s that.

Learn more about the movie and ways to view it here:

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