There’s a stiff wind blowing in South Florida this morning. I awoke from unsettling and frankly terrifying nightmares about a panic migration that had started in Florida. Millions of people were doing anything they could to move their families out of the state as rapidly as possible. Gas shortages meant people were abandoning their cars and were walking, attempting to carry possessions on their backs and pulling children along the highway in the blazing heat by their hands. People were being robbed in daylight, people were overheating and collapsed alongside the road. The National Guard were standing by and simply kept motioning people along the highway. It was reminiscent of what hurricane threats have come to look like in the state in recent years. Florida’s population has ballooned 20% over the last 15 years and in South Florida, we haven’t had a major storm make landfall since 2005. All those new people get real freaked out when you tell them something like Dorian that hit the Bahamas is coming. But my dream apocalypse wasn’t because of a storm but because food shipments had ceased to the peninsula. Climate change had created food shortages and Florida has most of its food shipped to it.
When I finally struggled to wakefulness the concerns from my slumber followed me. Rather than a dystopian, preposterous scenario, what my brain had concocted is actually becoming increasingly likely. A food shortage could set off waves of unsettled people, panicking and in that frame of mind, making things all the worse, compounding the problems for themselves and everyone around them.
I went to the toilet and unlocked my phone. That’s when I saw that today was the first day of the Global Climate Strike and the reason that it had been so heavily playing throughout my sleep. Being “tuned in” all the time has some definite drawbacks.
It’s so easy to become overwhelmed by the stark reality in front of us. I’ve come to start thinking of my role in the coming years almost as a triage nurse except with magick. A triage witch. How can I provide comfort and care to those around me? How can I stop them from emotionally and spiritually bleeding out? What unique spiritual abilities that I have can be useful? Fear is something always just around the corner. It’s a reaction to real or perceived circumstances but it’s not always the most useful, especially when you’re looking at a lifetime of potentially catastrophic change ahead of you. Another reaction is simply, depression.
Which is why I’ve really tried to make the present moment, right now, the place where my mind lives as much as possible. Because in that space, I can make a difference. In that space I can be kind. In that space I can grow something.
From that space I have strength to face what is ahead of me. To be helpful and of service. To have sat in silence, to have sat with water and then fire, to take that deep healing and form it into action.
I hope that the Climate Strike inspires you to do the same. I don’t know if anything we do now will change the course ahead of us but to quote my friend at Atroposian Musings in a recent post about the burning of the Amazon: