With all the Enbridge work in the wetlands behind our home, we’ve been concerned about how our many relatives have been affected.

We watched as the trees were clearcut with speed.

We witnessed the lumber matting thudding into place to create a road behind our home closer than the road in front of our home.

We watched as the dozers ran over the land cutting the scrub remaining from the slaughter and the grabbers snatched up the dead, piling them into giant brush piles to burn and pollute the air.

We listened to the fires crackling in the woods for hours, filling the Mississippi River Valley, and the scenic drive along County 2 from US Highway 2 to Itasca State Park, with smoke.

Now we wait. To hear the frogs return. To listen to the sandhills breeding in the water-rich land.

More than just the Enbridge destruction of recent weeks is affecting whether or not we’ll hear sandhills return to our swamp.

This time of year, the yard is typically full of water with our little man-made pondlet overflowing into the yard. The melting of winter usually disappears our little pond into a lakelet that has remained in recent years until May or June.

This year, the small plastic pond liner is the only thing holding any water. Looks like severe drought is in order as we watch ditches, usually flowing steady, trickle by along the county road out front… another product of the changing climate, in large part brought by the fossil fuel industry that Enbridge serves.

So quiet in the swamp.

We did hear a few sandhills flying over in the last week, but the throng we typically hear has not yet populated our backyard wetlands. We’ve heard nothing of the peepers. All I can think is that the dozers crushed them all in their hibernation.

Time will tell if we’ve gone too far to save ourselves.

Do we not realize… if the birds and insects disappear, eventually we will too?

How long can we keep up the charade of living as if reciprocity to the land is something with which we need not concern ourselves?

Have we actually bypassed all our opportunities to save the planet on which we reside… for our own long-term habitation?

What will the pandemic, and emerging drought, bring for the humans of the USA in 2021?

We watch as the rich gather up their stock market returns of 60-70%, remembering days when an 8% ROI was a good thing. We wonder how they can feel happy about money made in a system of so much corruption.

Meanwhile, homeless encampments – the only option for many who are now over year from their last paying job – are overrun with bulldozers as police remove the unwanted residents. Similar to how we eradicated the mosquitoes, mice, beaver, fox, wolf… who interfered with OUR management of the land?

How soon until that revolution I’ve been predicting for decades becomes a reality? How soon until so many feel they have no option but to process through their frustration and overwhelm with suicide? Or homicide?

As mass shootings continue… and people mindlessly travel without considering COVID risks… and many hope for the world to “go back to normal”, I believe we will never again go back to where we were before 2020.

And I wonder if we will continue to spiral down the drain to our own extinction… or if we will find many and myriad small communities gathering to help each other as we weather this largest storm we’ve ever seen coming at us.

I hope for love to win. For us to come together and feed, clothe, protect those not provided as much in our unequal system of sharing of the resources we have. For those who win most to realize this doesn’t bring happiness… when so many suffer for our winning. For all of us to find the goal of our common happiness and security as the most worthy of them all.

While it may be naive… I believe voting still matters. But the rest of this… let’s get going!