Ten years had passed since the night the candle had flared so bright in the still air of her refuge.
Ten years of many words and few deeds. Ten years of the fifty since the wise has observed the early signs and raised the alarm and had been ignored or denigrated for their trouble. Even they were not the first, for Malthus had raised his spectre some two centuries before.
Though those four horsemen ranged free, still in these ten years, nearly one billion more have been added to her ledger.
For they are resourceful, if they wish to be, these humans. Mitigating the shafts from Pestilence’s bow, defying Death. The swords of War kept short with conflicts bounded or delayed, though freedoms lost. Famine’s scales not fully tipped.
Yet they ignore her and her agony: the melting glaciers her tears, the storms her cries, fire and drought her wrath.
It was not always thus.
For men once knew to respect her and her bounty. Till, with such hubris, some claimed they were made the image of a single god. One they say granted licence to exploit the earth and all therein. And exploit they have, not sparing their own kind, even unto mortgaging their children’s dreams.
Only now does she see some glimmer of forlorn hope. Amongst the young there are those who have risen to protest the despoiling of their future, challenging the vested interests and expediency of those last two generations. Gaia sighs, for alas, she fears it is too late and the cusp has been passed.
And for their hubris, the sins of the fathers will wreak increasing vengeance on their children and their children’s children unto the thousandth generation.
Copyright © Pedro, October 2021