I got home from work at 11 tonight, but I’m still awake.
I’m sitting on my bed listening to the howling wind outside – spring in Southern California has a very liminal feel to it, as parts of the landscape come to life, and other parts of it die for the heat of summer.
I’m listening to the wind, the faint whisper of a distant freeway, and I think about how this will likely all be gone by the time I reach old age. (If I reach old age.) It will be a much quieter world here. No trundling AC units, no sigh of rubber passing over pavement, no snarling mufflers, no buzzing high voltage power lines. It would be beautiful.
Because catastrophic climate change is quite unstoppable at this point. Most predictions that you’ve heard are uselessly conservative – the only way to avoid the nightmare scenarios would be to shut down the entire global economy right now. But that’s never going to happen. Not even a tiny fraction of that is ever going to happen. That is, until it’s ripped from our cold, dead, hands.
I’m listening to the wind, and I’m thinking about storms. Hurricanes, El Ninos, wandering jet streams, storm surges, extreme weather: invading waves of Wild Hunters, unrelenting, unceasing, plucking us from beaches and washing us out to sea; beating our houses flat; flooding our windswept paths so we can no longer find the way.
We should probably be having a conversation with our Gods about extinction. How we, as polytheists, might contribute to humanity’s living will. The universe has given us all the yellow wristband: do not resuscitate. It’s only a matter of getting our collective affairs in order and making sure our Gods know what to do when we’re gone. Our death will not be quick and painless. We will not go gentle into that good night. For many it will be terrible; a fate all the offerings in the world couldn’t change. But love never cured cancer either, did it? It just meant we didn’t have to go to chemo alone.
The serpent writhes, flicks its tongue. The heat of this warming earth is waking its blood, now, and it begins to move. The whole earth will have a Fallow Time here soon enough. Not even the world trees can stand forever.