Through the Pain, Into Tomorrow

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by Carolyn Treadway

My dear friend has spent many years
fiercely writing about the climate.
Recently, he told me straight out:
We are not going to make it.
We humans are not going to survive!

Oh. My. God!

Feeling the impact of this as reality,
I inwardly collapsed into a heap,
weeping with pain and fear
and for the beauty of our world—
infinitely precious, exquisite, vulnerable.

The change is only a few little degrees,
but it’s enough to snuff out life on Earth
as we have known it.
We aren’t paying attention.
We must change our ways before it’s too late.
But it’s already too late!
Forthcoming changes are inexorable,
Bearing down upon us right now!

I haven’t slept since my friend
unveiled this truth.
Truth I desperately do not want to hear.
I am immobilized by profound sadness
in my every cell.
I feel it in my body, my mind, my soul:
“I am the Earth
and I am dying…”

So how do I live now?
Now that I know we humans may actually cease to exist?
I have no clue…

I wait and wait,
seeking  to find my way…

For one moment, then another, then another,
I enter the crucible of my pain.
Somehow I learn to sustain my gaze.
I move s-l-o-w-l-y toward determination
and re-connection with my passion for life.

Sinking down into my inner core,
I wrap myself in its blessed quietness and strength.
At last, some answers begin to emerge:
“Live with depth, simplicity, and grace,
attuned to what really, really matters.”

But what is that?
Profound caring.
Connection to the Sacred, to Spirit.

These are my lodestones
that will be my guides
as I follow their call.

Carolyn Wilbur Treadway is a psychotherapist, family therapist, pastoral counselor, social worker and life coach, now retired after almost 60 years of facilitating change and growth in people’s lives.  She “speaks for Earth” however she can—as a climate leader and mentor (trained by Al Gore and the Climate Reality Project since 2007), anti-nuclear activist, program planner and presenter, writer, and photographer. Since the mid-1980s she has been part of the Work That Reconnects. With her husband Roy, she lives in Lacey, Washington. Their three children and four young grandchildren constantly fuel her motivation to preserve our precious Earth. Contact her at [email protected].

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