I dreamt we really cared about our earthly home. I thought I was struggling to sleep, but my watch said it was time to get up. So, was I dreaming or longing?

I do know I was remembering the days of WWII when we were all dedicated to fighting for a just cause. It was scary, but it was magnificent – flattening our cans for re-use, counting food ration coupons to be used in the most efficient way, planning limited driving trips to make maximum use of gas coupons, drawing our black shades at night so as not to help the enemy find us, watching Times News before the movies (two for the price of one), singing patriotic songs, and “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again” as the end approached, knowing we were fighting for the freedom of those who were suffering invasion by cruel forces. (It was only in later years I became aware of our own cruelty in turning away refuges and depriving our Japanese citizens of freedom and property.)

We were dedicated in spite of the fact that we were pretty sure no bombs would drop on us. We had the ability to see that the problem was bigger than our own private domain.

Well, I wasn’t driving and purchasing groceries – too young for that. But I remember. My best friends father was the Air Raid Warden for our neighborhood. Mostly it was his job to walk the area and be sure no light shone through the windows. He often allowed my best friend Hallie to carry out that duty, so the two of us walked the neighborhood in the dark together. (No one worried about our being kidnapped or raped.)

We were in the 4-H club, one duty being to spot for enemy airplanes. It’s a good thing none attacked, because I couldn’t tell the difference between a flying mosquito and an airplane, say nothing of distinguishing between friend and enemy. Fortunately Hallie’s vision was more acute.

We worried about my brother and my brother-in-law as they were off to war. My big sister volunteered in the nursery school that made it possible for mom’s to build war equipment. (disbanded at the end of the war so mom could be sent back home “where she belonged.” More on that in a subsequent post.)

Magnificent? Yes. We were dedicated to a life affirming cause. This morning in my half dreaming state I imagined how wonderful it would be if we all fought as hard now for the earth – the home we all share. I thought of how we would be free of reliance on foreign – or even domestic – oil if we had pursued programs begun in the Carter administration. How glorious it would be if we recognized the dangers and mobilized to fight them.

And then I remembered my own frequent childhood bronchial colds, gasping for breath – wheezing, they called it. I wasn’t allowed to ride in the rumble seat in the teacher’s car who drove us to kindergarten because I might catch a cold. And then I thought again of how magnificent it would be if we cared enough about our atmosphere to spare so many children the asthma lifestyle marked by fear of death and reliance on inhalers, carried like we used to carry pens and pencils in our pockets.

Yes, I dreamt I dwelt in a world that cared.


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  1. I have been dreaming about the past also as of late,. Is it because the seasons are changing?

  2. Maybe we need to turn on a caring perception

  3. Oh my, Terry. That is a biggie!

  4. Beautiful, Mona. It’s really amazing, the era you describe. A terrible and noble time.

  5. Ah yes. Wouldn’t it be nice.

  6. I can remember hearing my mother talk about how her father used to watch for enemy planes. I think that there was a schedule and each man in the community took a turn watching for the planes at night.

  7. I was not “there” then, but it sounds like a kind of unity and common purpose that is denied us now. As for the war effort, I think the draft had a lot to do with how many felt committed to support. It touched so many families directly. Now it is too easy to leave it all to someone else. As for the earth – even then we were focusing on the more immediate. Now we have the “opportunity” to argue and debate and theorize about anything that seems personally inconvenient. Individual perspective has taken on such value. “Right now” has become so motivating. “My opinion” has allowed us to deny facts. Cell phones, plastic bags, disposable diapers, plastic bottles (and purchased water), disposable pens, countless medications to be disposed of, the list goes on and on. It is what we expect and strive for. That makes unifying over a less immediate cause so much more difficult.

  8. Of course you know I agree, Nancy. And then there are times like today when powers from around the world are gathered to discuss the issue of climate change — recognizing it as a real emergency. And there are the hordes of ordinary folks gathered in support. Maybe we are reaching the tipping point …

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