I have had times in my life of sorrow, terror and bewilderment, times that took all I had and tore me apart, changed me forever.
Reading this article, and many others like it, I can see such times are coming again for us all:
“. . . a number of other more empirically-focused studies - by KPMG and the UK Government Office of Science for instance - have warned that the convergence of food, water and energy crises could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years.”
We aren’t doing much about it, are we? Think of the possibilities open to us – for example, we could be decommissioning nuclear power stations and nuclear weapons now, while we have the technological capacity still to do that. We could be saving seeds and planting every corner of every public park and garden, every railway siding and roadside verge, with fruit and nut trees. Every new house build could be required to include a huge underground storage tank for the rainwater that falls on the roof.
I am afraid, when I think of the future. I have faith in God, but I am still afraid, because God is not afraid to allow us to pass through the most terrible suffering, if that is our choice. He is with us, but he lets it happen.
But because of what I have been through and what I see ahead, I cherish with every fibre of my being this bit – what I have now – and I am not willing to let it be ruined by anything.
By “this bit”, I mean the cherry blossom just appearing in the garden, the sound of my daughter singing, the fur of our black cat glinting in the sunshine, the peace and fragrance of an open fire, the cry of the gulls wheeling overhead, the green brilliance of moss on the wet stones, the comfortable ordinariness of our home, the kindness that is here – the way we look after each other and take care of one another. My grandaughter’s eyes shining with delight at simple bouncing games and little toys, my grandson shouting excitedly about the sand monsters in the garden. A loaf of new bread. Baked potatoes. Homemade juice. Gathering wild garlic leaves for salad.
The unexceptional domestic peace that characterizes our lives is not an accident, it was fought for, hard won and patiently built. It is there because we defend it, nurture it, understand it.
Life is beautiful. Oh, I treasure this bit so much.
“There is only one question: how to love this world.” (Mary Oliver)