"Cheryl Leutjen Writes"

August means….swimming pools ….. chasing down the ice cream truck …. concerts in the park… Of all the things I associate with August, dodging a tropical storm was nowhere near the list. Not in all the 33 years I’ve lived in Los Angeles, anyway. My area received some four inches of rain, which is considerable on any day—and unthinkable in August when the average precipitation measures 0.00 inches. Not a typo, the average, over decades of reporting, is ZERO. 

Thankfully, we didn’t experience the high winds that were predicted, and the earthquake was a just quick jolt where we live. But when you add up the tropical storms in our deserts, the devastating wildfires in tropical Maui and heat indexes greater than 120 degrees in the Midwest (it hit 134 in Lawrence, Kansas, home of my husband’s alma mater)….well, it does seem Earth is doing her best to get our attention.

What do we do? Tempting as it is to numb the pain with a gummy and funny cat videos, that’s just not a viable option when the “panic-now” alarms sound as often as I search the house for the phone I’m holding in my hand. This month, I’m introducing a new section to this newsletter…

ESSENTIAL THERAPY. Here’s where I’ll share what I’m doing, reading or listening to for hope, ideas, and suggestions for staying (somewhat) sane in these traumatic times of eco-upheaval. You won’t find any simplistic “replace all your lightbulbs and all will be well” sorts of ideas, but some real real suggestions for coping, learning, and doing what we can.

Do you have suggestions for resources to consider for the series? Are there people (maybe YOU?) or groups we should be studying, supporting, learning from? Let me know.  EmailFacebook or Instagram.

May we all find our own ways of honoring and processing our painful feelings about the impact we humans make on our beloved planet…I’m here if you want to share ideas. 

I find it necessary to remind myself
that if I want to change things,
I had best start with changing
my own heart,
to allow it to break, yes,
but not to break down
— instead to break open.


The Holy Universe: A New Story of Creation for the Heart, Soul, and Spirit by David Christopher (New Story Press, 2014)

Read the full August 2023 newsletter here.

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  © Cheryl Leutjen