Barbara Kingsolver photo by Annie Griffiths
Last weekend it rained nonstoop for 3 days and 3 nights which amounted to about 5.5 inches of rain in our neck of the woods. I know that doesn’t sound like much maybe, but believe me, it was. And during that time, the sun never ever came out. It felt appropriate that Barbara Kingsolver’s newest book, Flight Behavior, had just become available at the library; one that I’d been waiting for and was excited to read. I really enjoy her books, and love getting lost in them, so it turns out that since there was nothing that I could do outside, I could disappear head first into it.
The book is so good that I want you to go and put yourself on the waiting list at your library, or buy it at your local book store right now, and because I don’t want to spoil it for you by telling you anything about it, I will only tell you what the overall subject is. Which won’t ruin the story that Kingsolver weaves through her characters, which makes her one of my favorite authors. I read on her website that she reads the audio version, and I will get that just to hear her tell the story.
So it’s about climate change. Which no matter what you believe or don’t believe, or feel or don’t feel, is happening right now. And since a few days ago, we have reached and gone beyond the tipping point of what the Earth can handle CO2-wise to keep the climate stable. Which means feeling like it’s winter is the summer, feeling like it’s summer in the winter, and a lot of freakish storms.
Which up until I read Flight Behavior, had me in a subtle state of a tizzy. I mean, I’ve been noticing the weather/season changes for years, being a gardener and all. If I wasn’t tuned in that way, I might not notice it. But since moving to Asheville in 1998, our zone has gone from 6b to 7a. Now those kinds of things don’t happen without the people who watch and know these kind of things noticing!
So if you’ve been feeling a little anxious, or even a bit worried about the future, do take the time and read Flight Behavior. It might make you feel better about the future. After all, I don’t have children and don’t have that blind feeling that people who do seem to have that “everything is OK and everything will be all right”.
So are you ready though, to embrace the change that will be taking place at an accelerated rate? I mean, will you choose to freak out and keep repeating the latest extreme stories that are on the news? Or argue that it’s not true – that there has always been unstable conditions called “the weather”. Or will you start to go inside more and feel the stability of that?
Here is a quote from the book:
“Entomologist Dr. Ovid Byron speaking to television journalist, Tina, who says, regarding global warming,
“Scientists of course are in disagreement about whether this is happening and whether humans have a role.”
“The Arctic is genuinely collapsing. Scientists used to call these things the canary in the mine. What they say now is, the canary is dead. We are at the top of Niagara Falls, Tina, in a canoe. There is an image for your viewers. We got here by drifting, but we cannot turn around for a lazy paddle back when you finally stop pissing around. We have arrived at the point of an audible roar. Does it strike you as a good time to debate the existence of the falls?” p.367
I don’t think there is any need for fear, or for trying to protect myself from the reality of our world. Or arguing that it is happening or not. I kind of knew that this was going to happen, didn’t you deep down?
And being the emotional type that feels everything, I know I will feel sad and cry about things I hear about on the news. Which is why I will stay where I am in a place where there are more trees than people, and where flowers and birds make me happy. And paint when I can and surround myself with those friends and family that I love and that love me.
What about you?
The First Iris of the Season
* BTW: All coprights on everything, including my photos.