Thirty minutes. That was all that was left for all of us. We hurried to gather some clothes and important possessions but how does one decide what is important in the middle of fighting the possibility of death?
In that crystalline moment, as sharp as a multi-pointed frozen snowflake, you realize that nothing matters. Nothing. No thing.
You seek your people and gather them near and that is all you have to hold onto. There is nothing else. The clouds will burst, the skies will wreak havoc, the earth will open and you will have revelations about what truly matter like never before.
In less than thirty minutes when the axis has already shifted, so will the world’s priorities. No more electronic devices to be plugged into. No more social sites creating riffs so wide there is a great disconnect rather than the connection intended by all the clamoring sites offering perks to have you on board. No more of this. No more word processing because there is no more power.
Generators, yes. But even those require fuel power and the fuel is the problem. Inside the fuel lies gold nuggets told to masses who will follow because they don’t even know they never had a choice in the first place.
When the generators cease, so will the hurry, flurry and worry that one cannot keep up any longer to the hectic pace of such disconnection that some are bullied into suicide thanks to electronic media. No more will we see family rants abound on Facebook. No more will we choose email over the phone. No more cell phones, the towers will be little but dust collecting monoliths across the landscapes raped by men who chose to drive us all to the same end.
In little but 21 minutes, we will all share in the initial panic. Flurries of humans rushing not knowing where will collide with one another. Communication will become necessary. Face to face communication. Help will be given by one human being to another. No more hollow “I’m there for ya if ya need me” messages for all the world to see. People will actually be there for one another.
When the earth settles and we find our comfort in one another again, in the piece of bread from a stranger, in the arms of a person who never seemed able to give a thing but now stands there holding you as you weep for what you thought you had. Human, humane comfort.
This thing we lost, this thing we discuss so often, this disconnect of the human race is not the way it was supposed to be. Or maybe it is the way it is supposed to be.
All we know is that we are here now. Preparing.
After the initial panic, there will be communities formed where people help one another raise a barn to house livestock and toss in hand to build homes where families can reside together. Gardening will become a peaceful pastime again, everyone will gather around the Sunday dinner table, glad for their good fortune.
Little will be made of the upheavals by then. By then, the memories will pale and the initial shock waves will have entirely dispersed invisibly.
Some things will be restored in a limited way for emergencies and medical care. Everyone will be entitled to those services, money or no money. For money will not mean much more than all the other paper housed in our former abodes before the axis shifted.
New shores are pressing in on us and yet we sleep. We sleep because we do not know any better. By the time we awaken, it will already be too late.
It is already too late.
We just don’t know it yet.
Making sense of prophecy will be the least of our concerns. Having a three car garage will finally be good for something other than standing empty while four car households can no longer buy gas. The space in those garages will become shelter for those who have none. Homes for those who no longer know where home is because it is no longer there.
In just 13 minutes this will happen. What I have gathered around me are the people nearest me because the further ones are doing their own gatherings where they are. There is no time for all of us to reunite with our loved ones. We must do our best with those present. They are really all we ever had.
Afterward, when things are calmer, I picture myself wandering down roads, some gravel, some paved with great chinks missing where the machinery can no longer repair the frost heaved damage. It’s just as well because the roads are mostly used for bicycles and walking now. It reminds me of living in the country, of walking a country road to collect some bulrushes and when you hear a car in the distance, you shade your eyes with your hands to see who is driving on the road and why because it is normally such a quiet road.
Quiet. Quiet is what will reign. Thinking will return. Instead of relying on spellcheck, grammar check and electronic thesaurus helpers, we will have to help ourselves and use our own minds and skills to survive. There are only a few minutes left for us to determine if we have everything we need.
Bottles of water for two weeks, check.
Enough preserved food rations for two weeks, check.
First Aid kit, check.
People all safely inside with one another, check.
Battery operated radio, check.
Battery operated lights and flashlights, check.
Extra batteries, check.
Enough pillows and blankets for everyone present, check.
Any jewellery worth anything is already worn, check.
Coats, boots and other inclement weather clothing, check.
Old underwood typewriter cast off years ago from the now non-functional airport, check.
How do you think I am writing this?
Okay only three minutes left.
Everyone is telling everyone else they love them and they hope we all make it through to the other side where we once started a century ago. Won’t that be peaceful, another chance to make it right, we tell each other as we huddle, hoping for the best. Knowing that there will never be anything worse again.
Believing that we can do this. Because, disconnected as we have all been, we know it is up to us.
We know we can do this.
And we will.
One minute left.
I have to go now be with my friends. There are thirty of us.
Best of luck to you and yours. See you sometime for trade or maybe even an old-fashioned Sunday dinner, I hope. Much love, everyone.