It's been a long time between posts here - too much happening in my life. But I'll try to pick up the thread again (if there was one.)
In this morning's local paper there was an article about climate change - it was not only in the local paper but was written by a local reporter based on the experiences of a local naturalist who works in a nature reserve about ten miles from my home. It felt very close and personal and immediate - not at all like the other articles I've read in national publications or in books.
The gist of the article was that the climate is definitely warmer. Spring comes earlier and fall lingers longer now than thirty years ago. Some migratory birds - robins, song sparrows, and certain vultures - now winter over here. Not all of any of those breeds, but some of them. (Since I moved to this house, I've noticed particularly the one or two rather forlorn robins who stay in our crabapple tree right through the entire winter.) Flowers like mountain laurel and bloodroot bloom earlier in the spring - some as much as three weeks earlier.
In addition to climate changes, and in some ways related to it, are the changes resulting from building houses, extending highways, and generally increasing population. I've lived here only five years now and have seen woods replaced by subdivisions, deer standing bewildered among new houses where a few months ago were only trees and green grasses where they used to forage and sleep at night.
It all makes me sad. Soon this world will not be a good place for anyone to live. As it is, for many people it is hard, between nature's severity and human conflict. I thought briefly that I'm glad I'm getting on in years, and will not have to deal with it - and then remembered that as a Buddhist, I believe in rebirth - I'll be back!
The great Buddhist insight about this world, samsara, is that it simply can't be fixed. Things almost looked otherwise in the last decades of the twentieth century, but not now.