Where do I begin except here, pen in hand at the window of my aerie. I look down the long and winding road that is the past and I wonder that so many of us came through to this best of possibilities.
There were times I didn’t think our world would survive, much less any of us. All the plans, the hard work, and the hope against overwhelming odds - I cannot now even contemplate - worked. It worked, not exactly, not precisely as imagined, but it worked. We are here, and we have another chance, a better chance, with so much saved this time. I look at our small cadre of warriors, for that is what we are, warriors as of old.
I come up to the very top room of this old stone home, to my sanctuary away from all the wistful eyes and hopeful hearts that daily leach my strength from me.
Only here, in this high place, at my window with the small flashlight my brother gave me hung just so to illuminate the page in front of me – how many years ago. And where is he today? Dead or alive? I only know he is not here - not here. I could not convince him to come. I think since his Phyllis died – his wife of 29 years – he doesn’t care if he lives or dies. Life has become a chore without his helpmeet.
I imagine him on his farmhouse porch, whiskey in hand, toasting me even as the earth rent asunder and saying “Here’s to the end, I had a good run.” And He did. He loved and was loved, he worked with integrity, brought a beautiful healthy child into the world. He lived his life his way and now with Phyllis gone, he’d just as soon pass on and will not run from death.
Doubt among the masses still exists, but many are grateful. The old enemies are still among us as well: envy, greed, fear of the unknown. But they are old enemies – known enemies; we’ll survive them as we ever have. It is enough, at least for me, that we were not literally sent back to the cave. We saved so much of who we are and what we know, that civilization will not take an eon to rebuild this time.
It’s still touch and go, we can’t save everyone. To try would doom us all. Now the work begins. Little by little, we have to go out into what remains of our world; make contact and piece by piece reassemble society. The old refrain is true, united we stand, divided we fall. Will I live to see it done? Perhaps, some. My calling was scribe, and now we’ve come through the most perilous part of this journey, I can resume that mantle.
Where do I begin, for begin I must, to put our story in some order for the future, for our children, for posterity. I want them to know what it took to bring us through the Fall to here. The ‘Fall’, so simple a word for that day – so trite. That crisp crystal afternoon just ten days ago stands out in high relief.
© Perle Champion