Time of Year: November 2021

It was the time of year when all things meld into one. . . I am thinking of my backyard and watching the rain pour down over the still soft ground. The loam we had put down in October to raise the area down by the stream has been mushing its way down the slight incline at the back of the lawn and settling into to the boggy place, increasing the mud, instead of firming up the area where I hope next spring, I will be able to take a lawn mower and cut the marsh grass instead wading through knee high mush with a weed whacker.

I am despairing that my brilliant solution to the muck is failing against the onslaught of climate change. This fall, so far, has been very mild and wet. In past years that boggy area is often frozen by Thanksgiving, but today it is a big, wet, mush. What’s a girl to do?

I am noticing small and large changes to the ecology and environment in our yard, that I attribute to climate change. Blue birds stay all year long, now and the low wet areas around the yard and in the woody areas around the yard are lower and wetter. The puddle ducks frequently have more puddles around the feeding area to wade and swim through.

Don’t get me wrong. I am happy for 50 degree temperatures in late November. It gives me more time to clean up the oak leaves that take their good old time to drop from their homes along the gnarly branches of a dozen or more tall oaks that make a majestic boundary around the yard. It gives me an easier time of pushing the reflectors into the ground to mark the driveway for the snowplow. Snowplow? Will we even have any snow this winter or will climate change bring us frequent blizzards and deadly Nor’easters?

This time of year, like every other, is a mixed bag of seasonal shifts, time changes, and constant adjustments to what each new day brings. I don’t mind the turning of the seasons. . . it is as organic as the earth moving around the sun. . . I am, however, unnerved by its unpredictability in the age of climate change.

My body is tired, and I fear that the earth is tired, too. . .no longer able to recover from the intrusions of humankind and our efforts to control her and extract every ounce of life from her. Once the rainforests are gone and the thousands and thousands of species that keep our ecosystem going are gone and there is no more fossil fuels to extract and the world is covered with deserts and the oceans gobble up whole cites. . . there is no going back. Perhaps this is the way Earth responds to our thoughtlessness and when we are gone, too, she will finally have a chance to recover her splendid beauty.

Copyright 2021 Patricia A Burke

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