Jun 24, 2024

Earth 88

Hidden Beach Summer 2021

Virtually all students of the extinction process agree that biological diversity is in the midst of its sixth great crisis, this time precipitated entirely by man. 

Edward O. Wilson, Harvard University, 1988 

You're already trying to hang on day by day by a mere thread. 
Then, the air thickens, suffocating you; your veins expand, your hands and feet balloon, 
and dizziness engulfs you. 
Yet, you must stay focused, not for yourself but for your dying cat. 
You must ensure she's comfortable and at peace.
Make sure she doesn't have a heart attack -
that would seal her fate. 
If that happens, there's no help. 
No vets and no escape from the island. 
You'll have to end your soul mate's suffering yourself. 

I had so much anxiety during the Heat Dome I thought I was going to collapse. 
When nature turns against you, survival is the only instinct. 
Your mind races, desperately seeking solutions. 
What do I have to do? 
How can I cool down? 
How can I lower my heart rate?

When I found the dead house sparrow on my deck, 
I knew the tide had turned, and I had to leave. 
I buried the little bird, wrapped in a shroud of paper towels, 
on a bed of flowers from my garden. 
The little bird now rests beneath a mound of rocks 
at the foot of the cedar tree on the East side of my property. 
The cedar, whose branch once danced across my yard 
like a wayward broomstick during a winter storm. 
One of two remaining cedars on my property. 
The cedar that stood beside the three Douglas Firs, 
where Flo and I drank morning coffee. 

My yard mainly consisted of conglomerate rock and salal roots, 
which made digging the grave for the little bird difficult. 
I knew Flo would die soon. 
Where would I bury her?

The Wind