Last night I dreamed it was my job to vacuum all the dead needles that have rained down from the big Douglas firs around our house. Never have they shed like this before. There are small drifts of them everywhere. And it was my job to vacuum them. I didn’t know where to begin.
the party’s over
we had a good time
we danced on the tables midnight til dawn
til all the time was up and the good stuff gone
Do you ever have the feeling that the party’s over? This morning, swimming, I thought of Eliza Gilkyson’s song of that title, from her album Beautiful World. I thought of all the fires in our province, and down the Coast as far as Mexico. My favourite places–Lytton, Ashcroft, Spences Bridge, Walhachin, the communities on Highway 97 north (Flat Lake, Canim Lake, Lone Butte) and south, east (Westwold, Monte Creek, Sicamous)–threatened or burning or gone.
we burned all the kindling, passed the bottle around
watched the last coals dwindling
and the ice melting down
We can’t say we didn’t know. Scientists have been reporting the climate crisis for years now. Crisis, emergency: we’re here. A few weeks ago, our thermometer hit 39 degrees. Friends up the highway said theirs recorded over 40. This is the temperate west coast, home of rainforests, an abundance of water, salmon. Our gooseberries cooked on the bush. The Douglas firs began to turn orange, not so much from drought–they can withstand some dry spells–but from the sustained heat. Billions of tidal creatures died on the shores in the heatwave.
the party’s over, we had a blast
brought in the lawyers to cover our ass
left a note for the children to clean up the mess
the party’s over
I dreamed it was my job to vacuum the fir needles and I didn’t know where to begin.