Christine Lowther photo
There are so many ways to say goodbye,
to the dreams of youth, to the hope
which fades, gradually, over decades
of waiting for humans to understand
we need to do more than bemoan
the climate crisis: we need to act.
There are so many ways to say goodbye:
to burning forests, to suffering wildlife,
to houses, and whole towns of houses,
turned to ash and rubble,
to life as we knew it before covid,
when we took ordinary days
for granted, as if there would
always be more.
Today I only know how to
put out morning seed for the birds,
stir creamer into my coffee,
scroll with my TV remote
trying to find what good news I can.
I don't know how to prepare my goodbyes,
when life has become a long list of farewells:
to loved ones, to a beloved wolf,
to small homes I cherished, then lost,
to all the landscapes I have passed through,
forever changed by seven decades
of expanding populations with our
voracious wants and needs.
I skirt the sad edges of
preparing to say goodbye to hope,
that quality that has led me sunnily through my life,
now we are running out of time for
meaningful change to happen,
hope: that quality that is so hard to hold onto,
now, yet impossible to live without.
This chapter is all about surrender,
holding close with open hands
all that I must let go.
Memory is joy and grief intertwined,
gifts given and received,
the tallying up, the gratitude,
the worry and the pain
of a planet in crisis,
that we did not leave better
than we found it.
There are so many ways to say goodbye.
Inspired by "Transitions" by Tammi J. Truax, frm Wild Writing with Laurie Wagner. The italicized lines are hers.