It lies there on the horizon watching and anticipating our next move. As the clouds creep towards us the inevitable cooling of the air is matched by an increasing electricity that lies in those dark monsters above. We’ve known about its arrival for years yet here we are still unprepared for the downfall; the deluge of decisions upon which a future must be staked. Neighbours and friends now stand either side of the road looking up and expecting the sun to shine on them by the time the tempest passes. Neither will escape the rain and heavy winds, yet both expect the warmth of the aftermath to be theirs alone. All that lies behind the cloudburst is more darkness. The lightning that illuminates the air and cracks in the air cries of offensive words across the cyberspace divide with former friends eyeing each other with disdain.
The air has turned. There is a closeness about it. A feeling of claustrophobia surrounding five million souls. The way out or to shelter is unclear for many. A stillness falls. The proverbial calm before the storm.
Our suitors have tried to show us their wares to protect us and guide us through, but it won’t be enough. The storm that’s coming will leave damage and erosion to our land and we will be unable to sort in the short-term. The naive blame the mythical from the big bad wolf to karma, the educated throw percentages and facts around but neither offers a solution or any real hope. Standing on the echoes and shadows of those who fought the storms previously we think we’re more knowledgeable, more understanding of the problem, but the truth is we are the same frail humans that have faced rounds of dark clouds for centuries.
Do we hold on when the moment comes or let go and see where the rainwater takes us – shelter or embrace the elements? We sit watching, listening, disagreeing, supporting but only the elements have certainty. The storm will hit hard. The vandalism in some places irreversible. And for what? Our own human version of climate change forced upon a country ill-prepared and misled by those in charge. To deny it is dangerous as the outcomes are our shadow in the future. An “Us” that lives with hindsight and regrets is the only guarantee and an “Us” who claim survival despite the loss of half their kith and kin.
Will we survive the storm? Yes, but we will not be unchanged by it. Words cannot be taken back; lies cannot be made true; celebrations will anger and ruin friendships.
We knew it was coming, but we chose to argue amongst ourselves rather than have an open and honest dialogue about how we should all work together for the best outcome. Winning will be bittersweet, losing will be heartbreaking as we look back at he decimation left behind by a storm forecast years ago.
The rain is starting. Shelter.