When To Build An Ark


It seems hot on this day for October. At least the nights are cool. A southern wind blows and once again the county where I live is under a fire weather watch. Leaves are changing and the grass has almost completely turned brown. I'm wondering on this day how much of a winter we are going to have, regardless of how early the squirrels started storing nuts.

I think it is easy to become lost in the moment sometimes, especially when observing the weather. A snapshot of even fifty years seems like just a frame or two of some short movie clip (from a much longer movie), when I think about the last ten thousand years or so. I was taught in college that in the distant past most of North America was covered in a very thick ice sheet. I don't know if that was true, not because I don't believe it, but because, very simply, I was not there. Regardless, all forms of knowledge require a certain degree of faith.

As the saying goes, those who do not know their past are doomed to repeat it. Just as some of the Indonesian people who knew their lore moved to higher ground during the earthquake and following tsunami in 2004, there are truths to be known in the stories of our past, stories about world-ending times. 

It would be a mistake to assume that world-ending always has to mean the end of all human beings or other forms of life on the planet. More correctly, I think, world-ending typically means the end of one world-view and the beginning of another; it is about change in what ever form or influence that may present itself.

A giant asteroid or super volcano wiping out half of civilization would certainly be a world-view ender, but so was the discovery of penicillin in that it changed perception. 

There is clear evidence in some ten-thousand-year short movie clip that the planet is warming up, but I suspect, somewhere in someone's history, there are stories that tell us about signs that it will freeze again. So the question becomes:  just how do those squirrels know exactly how early to store nuts?