Apocalyptic times stir survival instincts.
A thick smoke blanket greets me every morning
and my first impulse is often, “Where can I be safe?”
There are survivalists around, up here in Siskiyou County,
but their stockpiled food and automatic weapons
will not slow an instant Nature’s cleansing power.
A mind bent on survival does not see beyond
the compulsion of the moment.
Options narrow into a corridor of self-protection,
and the essence of the human soul is lost.
and the answer to my question becomes, “Nowhere.”
The day unfolds, however;
and my thoughts begin to clear.
I find a calmness settling in.
Apocalyptic times do stir survival thoughts,
but deeper still they stir essential questions.
If all that we have known is falling,
how shall we respond?
Anger, despair, blame and frantic efforts to survive?
Or kindness, sacrifice, a willingness to stop clinging
to what once was, and step into the storm, aware,
of what is coming, and nonetheless keep speaking,
serving, saying what we have to say, loving what is ours to love
and binding up what wounds we can.
Perhaps to lay one small foundation stone
for what may be built in centuries to come.
“These are times that try men’s souls” for sure,
but souls are made of substantial stuff,
designed to come alive in just such times as these.
Along this theme I offer two compelling songs by two powerful women i encountered years ago whose songs I now return to for strength and encouragement.