The climate IS changing

By Bob Ryan

Yes, it is. Just ask our many farmers here in Rappahannock. I bet many might say, as other farmers in other parts of the world, “This is not the weather I grew up with.”

Yes, the climate is changing. Not just our air, ocean, land climate, but alas our social climate in Rappahannock. It’s as if this place we love has become part of a Monty Python episode/movie or something feudal or feud-all. Are we, as those more civilized to our east, becoming more tribal? I hope not, but fear yes.

So back we go, 700 years, to the Knights of the Rappnet. Back to the fair ladies in distress, the Knights, led by the good Duke will protect all that threaten the kingdom of good. We will turn back, the barbarians from the east. These now landed gentry who claim to be princes and seek to take over our land with (gasp) bicycle paths.

Fear not, ye lesser nobles and protectors of the realm. The Knights will take to the ramparts. We Knights even have a court jester (pro bono, not Bono by name) and even a not so jovial friar Tuck who will surely rise to our defense at the drop of a nonprofit. Except not nonprofits such as a food pantry or educational pantry. We need to fight, or at least send out vicious notes and arrows to the enemies at the gate. Why we can’t even count on the papacy defending us. Do we really trust our own pope to do what is best? Ah, friar Tuck, lead us out of this wilderness.

Is there nothing comprehensive we can agree on? OK, our elected representatives and our community volunteers might have made a few errors. Even our local pope says he is not infallible. “Off with their heads,” cries the Queen. Follow me down the rabbit hole. As last week’s thoughtful letter noted, it may be a secret rabbit hole.

Follow this feud-all tribe? Maybe we can come together as a community and say that public lynching either by word, print or internet should not be part of a new Rappahannock comprehensive plan. Listening and communicating without yelling and threatening (please quietly sit for a bit court jester) might be a positive for the place we all love.

A former Today Show host (sorry never met) is Frank McGee who lies, in a strange convergence of life, in Woodville. His letter (imagine writing before internet and email) back to everyone who sent a compliment, or critique, or nastiness was simple, “You’re probably right”

He also wrote his epitaph: “We know that autumn does not begin with the falling of the leaves, but earlier on some forgotten afternoon when a shadow passed over the fields and it was no longer summer . . . Don’t go far.”

You’re probably right but let’s not go too far, even to follow the jester and the friar.

The writer was the Today Show’s first on-air meteorologist, who later became chief meteorologist for 30 years at NBC affiliate WRC, and upon his retirement ABC affiliate WJLA, both in Washington. He has a home near Woodville.

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