Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sometimes, it is just time to move on.

Here is what I wrote last week before the Al Andalus Citizens met to decide the fate of the merger with CDS. They decided to sever the relationship. I'll be posting the exciting things AA will be pursuing in the next few posts, but I know there are many who don't understand.


This morning I went for a walk along the seashore. The sun was bright, the gulls loud and the gentle waves washed against my feet. It seemed like the perfect thing to do, no pressure, no fear, no real problems. To be sure, I knew the ocean was full of issues, jellyfish this week, riptides and currents, even sharks are not uncommon. In the same way, the land has issues: not far away dangerous traffic sped along the inter-coastal highway, strangers lurked in shadows of houses, sometimes fish hooks or glass or other litter glinted sharp along the beach. But they were known issues, things that care and understanding could avoid.

As I walked south, toward the end of my island, I noticed that last night's storm had brought another crop of Sargasso grass to the beach. Fresh seaweed, spongy and soft, grows in the warm gulf and periodically washes ashore. Infrequent visitors don't understand the cyclical nature of the grass, and don't know that by tomorrow or the next day or next week, the tide will pick it all up and wash it back to sea. Change is the only constant.

So when I crossed the stretch of sand that took me to the waters edge, it didn't bother me that there were bits of seaweed at the high tide line. I just walked over it, hoping not to hurt any of the billions of organisms that make the fertile grass home, and began my stroll along the edge of the warm water. A hundred yards down the beach, I saw that more grass was building, a few inches stacked on the dry sand, but still thought very little of it. By the time I'd walked the first mile though, the seaweed had formed a wall, three to four feet high, and the ocean was crashing hard against it. It was too tall for me to climb across, and the water was too deep to wade through. I had no choice but turn back, retrace my steps and give up the walk along the sea for the day. I didn't give up my walk, just had to choose another route.

The merger between CDS and Al Andalus has been like that walk. At first, there seemed to be nothing that we couldn't work around, the issues were small, the desire to work together high. But as the year went on, it became more and more clear that an impasse was being built. First it was how we selected representatives, and how many of our citizens were counted. Then it was notices, events, money, record keeping, and now even our ideology is suspect. Together, we've built a wall that no one can safely cross or maneuver through, and no one wants to back down. With any single issue, it would make sense to keep working, but all of them together have created an environment of dispute, anger and animosity. It has been a long time since I was able to log onto SL without being hit with one or the other from someone. That isn't how I want to spend my time. I don't believe it is how our community wants to spend its time. The question we must answer? Is it time to turn around and choose a new path?

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