i’m sure the tree held on for dear life. perched among the big boulders on the shore of lake michigan, these trees have held on through many a storm, waves crashing past them, wind howling. only this time it was too much. it didn’t have a chance.
we could hear the lake from our house. the winter storm was raging and the intermittent crashes and booms were clearly devastation-in-the-making. when we drove big red over to see, it was astounding. the wind, the waves, ice had torn up and thrown entire chunks of sidewalk. boulders were thrown twenty feet. waves pelted the gazebo that sat back from the lake’s edge. trees were uprooted, glazed in thick shrouds of ice. the storm came and the storm left and the lakefront was forever changed.
in the littlehouse on island we watched the shoreline fade – many feet – over the course of a few months. waves from the south pounded the shore, eating away at earth and trees, demolishing the new dock. what it looked like when we first lived there is not what it looks like now, merely six months later. it is forever changed.
we aren’t big sitcom-watchers. but we are earth-show-watchers. it’s astounding to see how our good earth is mutating – through no fault of its own. profound. fires destroying ecosystems, displacing and killing wildlife, changing the horizon forever. glacial ice melting, challenging the arctic. earthquakes and tornadoes, hurricanes and tsunamis. toxic air forcing the use of face masks, and even of oxygen, the prevention of carbon dioxide in an environment less protected by photosynthesis and more consumed by greenhouse gas emission.
i have lived a couple blocks from the shore of lake michigan now for thirty years. the storms in the last ten years have been fierce. each one erodes the coastline a little more. walking along the water’s edge the-day-after made it all feel apocalyptic, these changes. ‘less is more’ the saying goes. then it alludes that more is even more, perhaps too much.
the tree held on for dear life. and lost. are we holding on for dear life? how are we long-term helping our good earth? how are we long-term hindering it? do we have a chance?
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ice ©️ 2020 kerri sherwood & david robinson