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.
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.
- Saturday Poem: ‘I Have Loved Hours at Sea’ by Sara Teasdale (theliterarysisters.wordpress.com)
- Stars (beardedhermit.com)
- Poetry: Barter by Sara Teasdale (shumpty77.com)