The day is dark and threatening. Although the humidity levels are rising and the sullen clouds suggest immanent rain, the forecast is for a few light showers. Given the severity and persistence of the drought we are experiencing, we hope for more.
Walking through our community one notices rabbits everywhere; indeed, we are witnessing a veritable explosion of rabbits. The ones in our yard treat us with general indifference, an attitude not shared by our resident cat who wants very much to go out and hunt them.
A population boom among any prey species eventually leads to an increase in the predator population followed by a sharp decline in the prey population. This is a very well documented and predictable cycle. We happen to enjoy rabbits as long as they stay out of the veggies and will be sad to see their numbers drop.
Strangely, or maybe not, ideologies tend to cycle, as do stocks, viruses, and hem lines. Also oddly, we tend to forget that everything cycles and once a cycle enters a stable phase, we assume things will remain the same forever. This encourages cycles of elation and despair as groups and belief systems travel from ascendency to decline, often these days in a relatively short time frame.
These rapid fluctuations reside within much longer term cycles which may not be visible to us given our relatively short life spans and the slow enactment of the cycles. This is particularly problematic as we attempt, or not, to address climate change, species loss and a raft of environmental and social ills.
Predictably a subset of folks will be able to notice changes in the natural or social environments and predict the oncoming state change. Also predictably, most people wont pay much heed to the warnings even though we know that groups that are able to process such warnings and act accordingly generally experience better outcomes. The rub, of course, is we must discern the difference between knowledgeable, considered concern and foolery.
True vision sees the long haul which may not bring much solace to the immediate moment. Yet, much is gained by acting for the long term even if things will not change until after we are gone from the world; we gain much by thinking about what we want to see when relative sanity cycles by again.
While there is certainly hope in the long term, In the short term it seems increasingly that Joni was right, “You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.” Ah, that we were Ents!