In the future, children will think our ways are strange. “Why do old people always grow so much milkweed in their gardens?” they’ll say. “Why do old people always write down when the first bees and butterflies show up? Why do old people hate lawn grass so much? Why do old people like to sit outside and watch bees?”
We will try to explain to them that when we were young, most people’s yards were almost entirely short grass with barely any flowers at all, and it was so commonplace to spray poisons to kill insects and weeds that it was feared monarch butterflies and American bumblebees would soon go extinct. We will show them pictures of sidewalks, shops, and houses surrounded by empty grass without any flowers or vegetables and they will stare at them like we stared at pictures of grimy children working in coal mines
We will be feeding our grandchildren strawberries and raspberries we grew in our gardens, dragging them along to the farmers’ markets for tomatoes and eggs and goats milk and pickles and pecans and salsa and sunflower seed butter and jars of honey, as they complain and drag their feet because Gramma always stands around talking to people for like an HOUR
and we will say “When I was YOUR age, fruits and vegetables came from a supermarket and they were bred to get shipped 1000 miles in a truck and sit on shelves for weeks, and they tasted so sour and watery it was like eating paper compared to these ones. It wasn’t even legal in some places to grow your own food”
and they will roll their eyes like yeah yeah just because everything was miserable in the 20s doesn’t mean I have to have a smile on my face standing in the hot sun while you listen to that one guy talk about his bees FOREVER
But they will go, because there might be baby goats.
Since I made this post, dozens and dozens of people have left tags telling me that it was the first thing today that made them want to continue living, that it was the first thing that made them consider that they might be okay years in the future, that they might grow old, that it was the first and only post of its kind they’d ever seen—the first post that boldly predicts a future where we make it.
And many other people have been just spitting, foaming at the mouth fucking FURIOUS. How dare I have the audacity to imagine a future where things get better?
Don’t I know how BAD things are? Am I not aware of the TERROR and DEVASTATION of climate change and fascism and biodiversity loss? How dare someone be so bold, so callous, as to imagine something other than misery and suicide. How dare someone suggest it will get better. How dare a person propose that there is a future where we will be okay, in the face of so much terror. Hasn’t she seen the abyss opening its jaws before us?
Well? What do you think?
Do you think I’ve seen the abyss?