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Ignorance, Old Crow Hill, 25 December, night

One can be forgiven for ignorance. But once you recognize there's a problem, continuing on like normal is a choice.


It may be the easiest choice. It may even be the best choice, but once the problem has been named, the fog of ignorance can no longer be an excuse for inaction.


We've been born into this age, at the culmination of a whole history's worth of choices, rolling ever onward toward what appears certain doom. The planet has circled the sun 195,000 times since the first people poked their heads out of eden, yet the next 100 are likely to decide the fate of our species. And here we are, you and I, the lucky few born to bear witness. To testify that at long last, humanity has seen the problem.


What we do next is a choice.


***


I planted seeds after Thanksgiving, a small offering to the angels who look after fools and morons. I placed them in the greenhouse with the hope of having large enough perennials to put right in the ground come spring. I am nothing if not an impatient man.


First the tulip poplars tossed a few branches to the earth, smashing greenhouse window panes on the way down. Then winter came hard and swift, and I threw up a tarp and a small incandescent bulb as a buffer against the worst of the chill. It didn't work. The seedlings died.


On Tuesday, when the warmth of southern winter comes again, I'll fix the broken panes of greenhouse glass. I'll replant the seeds, and I'll get a proper heating source for those nights when a northern winter comes to call. I'll be (more) prepared.


***


There is no good reason why every inch of this planet can't be beautiful, and sustainable, and abundant. The problems have all been named, their contours studied and modeled.


What we do next is a choice.

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