Spring Herself

I see what we are doing with our fracking, and spillage, and burning, and emissions.  And it scares me.  When it really comes right down to it, the only thing we want for our children is health, security, and peace.

When I was a girl in middle school the teacher had us read Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, a 1950 short story science fiction collection.  I hated reading because I have always been a slow reader.  I digested the words, I built the stage in my mind, and copied down sentences or phrases that I thought were poetic.  Meanwhile the other kids would leave me in their dust, teasing about how far behind I was.  This book is the only time I remember enjoying reading in all of my school years.

The short story There Will Come Soft Rains includes a poem of the same name written by Sara Teasdale. I was really into poetry back then, and this one haunted me.  Every single spring since then, that poem has come to me when I see “wild plum trees in tremulous white.”  I am reminded how insignificant we are.  We are not killing our planet.  Our planet was here long before we were, and it will be here long after we are gone.  We are killing our children’s children.

It is painful to include myself in this homicide, yet the evidence is clear.  I sit here at my computer, cell phone perched adjacent, feet on soft synthetic carpeting, keys to my automobile hung neatly by the door — everywhere I look are things that must be manufactured, transported, and eventually thrown away.

I feel powerless against the big corporations who drill and spill and break the earth.  I go to work, I come home, I reuse, reduce, recycle, and I do the best I can to keep my corner of the world alive.  I wonder what I would do in their shoes; the CEOs of the big guys?  Could I justify the future of the children for the paycheck I spend today?  Would I eat the propaganda without gagging on the truth?

I don’t worry for the earth.  The planet sits waiting for the day when we will no longer be here to annoy it.  It will build its ecosystems again — maybe different ones, maybe not — but it will rebuild.  It will evolve.  It will suffer storms and quakes.  Then it will rebuild again.

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There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

~Sara Teasdale

 

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20 thoughts on “Spring Herself

  1. Bubba

    Funny, I was just thinking about Ray Bradbury’s “Something Wicked This Way Comes” on the way home from work today. Is that coincidence? foreshadowing? (’cause I’m the one coming home…get it?, or just plain hooky-spooky sookie?!

    1. You are hooky-spooky. I decided to download The Martian Chronicles on Audible.com and listen to it read by the man himself. Between each story he comments. It is pretty cool. And no, Audible.com did not pay me for that mention. But they should.

  2. Ah! It finally comes out! —> “I have always been a slow reader.” Stop blaming me for making you late for work all the time. Start reading faster!

    Anyways, this reminded me of that show, Life after People. Great show..

  3. Hooky Spooky Sookie needed to be said again I think. I agree with you on this one and I keep taking my little stands here and there. Do they make a difference? Probably not but it makes me feel better. I like my homemade laundry detergent and my blacks no longer fade…so take that Tide. I take little stands like that everyday….so go you! As always it’s nice to hear from Bubba. 🙂

  4. I have wondered how the CEOs can possibly feel no guilt over how they earn their money, I know I couldn’t do it. My conscience would never let me sleep at night. I’m like you, Jean, I do the best I can. Today I bought cement block for the garden. Cement is not a sustainable product yet it’s the best I could come up with that would work for me. Will my efforts make any difference? Maybe not, but if I can teach the next generation (my grand kids) how to reuse, recycle and repurpose along with repairing and mending and then know they have an appreciation for nature and know how to grow their own food I may help them to survive through the troubles yet to come.

  5. You said that so well and they are my sentiments, exactly. We do what we can to help our mother earth and father sky. But when they tire of us, we will be diminished. There are some business out there that understand how to profit with a conscience. Maybe more will follow before it’s too late. Thanks for the reminder.

    1. And thank you for that reminder. I hope they can find MUCH profit in that. Until the middle and lower class can afford to support those businesses with their hard-earned paycheck, I’m afraid we aren’t going to find a way out of this trend.

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  7. These two sentences gave me goosebumps – “I don’t worry for the earth. The planet sits waiting for the day when we will no longer be here to annoy it.” – because the earth does indeed know how to heal herself. Us humans have a far way to go. Instead of peace and gentleness we often choose greed and jealousy, instead of love and tolerance we choose to dislike {things and people} and go to war. We must learn balance if we are to give our children a bright future and it starts with people who care.

    1. I quite agree with you. Thank you for commenting! I’m glad there are people who care. We need to get them in the right position to make differences!

  8. Trish

    This was really encouraging. I also recycle, ride my bike (sometimes), throw my organic rubbish into the compost heap, and then wonder why I bother when big industry is emptying its rubbish into the atmosphere and the seas and land. I liked what you said.

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  10. This is a wise reflection on our modern society. I like the way you include the anecdote about your experiences with reading and then lead into the Bradbury story and Teasdale poem as support for your comments. You are so right in stating that we are not killing our planet but killing our children’s children.

    (My students liked reading that story.)

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