Sixty years ago, at this time of the year as I walked to school in autumn, the frosty grass under my bare feet would go crunch, crunch. Today as the children walk past on the way to school they all have shoes on their feet and though we are well into autumn there is no frost; not even a hint of the heavy frosts we once expected to wake to in autumn. Oh world you change so. Yet change is what the world is all about. It took a long time for me to notice the change of temperature in things other than autumnal frosts. No longer was I gathering winter clothing early in the season. When did I begin to think that it was barely worth knitting a woolly jersey if it was to be worn for so short a season? All this converted to articles in newspapers and on the internet. It was being confirmed to us again and again that it was not just our part of this big planet earth, but every single part of it, from the Artic to the Antarctic that was rapidly growing warmer. Then two, maybe more, seasons ago, the cherry tree came into bloom a whole month early. It, too, was signalling to me that things were already truly out of kilter. Though I love her glorious display, to see her flowers so soon, was cause for despair rather than a call for celebration. The small efforts I make could be taken into consideration but do I work at the changes in a deeply concerted effort? They were there though, in the world at large, those funny interesting eccentric people who noticed such things long before any of us turned to listen; to notice, to act, and react to the many other signs of global warming. I am torn between memories of chilblained toes, which was not world ending even for me, and the fear that confronts me of a burning consuming mother earth and severe global change. If my prose be a prayer, this then, is my prayer.
Benita H. Kape © 12.5.2014
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