The World is Changing
The world is changing. For the good or the bad, I will never know. All around me beautiful places, people, cultures, plants, animals, and ecosystems are being destroyed. Forest are being chopped down for wood, the empty land made into a road. Ponds and lakes are being filled in to make parking lots. Rivers that once were beautiful are now littered with trash. The world is changing.
The past few days I’ve smelled the sweet scent of spring as I walk to lunch and recess. The smell in the air and the warm sunbeams on my face disappear as we are covered by days of snow. The sun comes back out, the spring comes again, but how long until the temperature drops again? The world is changing.
As I sit in my sit spot, I look across the trail and through the leafless trees. The cold, hard, black, snake of a road divides the woods from a neighborhood. Every few minutes a car drives by. Splitting the silence. Now whenever I’m in nature there is always a road or a highway close to me. How else would you have gotten there in the first place? You could be in a seemingly untouched piece of forest, having a moment to be by yourself with nature. You could be pondering the meaning of life while listening to the gentle chirping of the birds, when a motorcycle loudly passes in the distance, disturbing the calm. You are by a highway, and it’s non-stop noise as cars, motorcycles, and eight wheeler trucks hog the road. All the while the vehicles are making emissions that harm the earth. The world is changing.
When most people think of the changing earth they think of trees being destroyed and of greenhouse gasses. The whole planet is being affected and one of the spots being affected the most are the areas of snow and ice; the glaciers. As the planet warms, glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. The accumulation of snow in the winter is less than the amount that melts in the summer. This is natural except when you add in the extreme rate the glaciers are melting. For this reason glaciers are disappearing and the animals who make their homes on glaciers are disappearing too. As sea levels rise countries and states on the coast line will be endangered. It’s not just the animals that are hurting. Humans are hurting to. The world is changing.
I lean back against the tree that supports me and think about our changing world. Will there ever be a day when this tree is gone due to a housing development? All the trees and plants that call this area home will be gone too. I think about the whole city of Asheville; will those rivers that I learned to paddle on one day be gone? What about the park where I ride my bike, or the trail from my house to the library? Will those places one day be gone because of our changing world? Our greed for more supplies, more buildings, and more stuff, is changing the face of the earth forever.
I think of the San Juan river in Utah. I went on a week long rafting trip there when I was about seven or eight. The river was beautiful, and the campsites were breathtaking. We saw Bighorn Sheep, rabbits, and birds of all types. The flowers and plants were stunning. I went back last year with my friends and family for a two week trip and was stunned by how much the place had changed. The once deep river was shallow with many sandbars. We didn't see as many animals as we did the last time. Seeing a mama Bighorn with her two babies was a big deal one day because we hadn't seen many at all throughout the trip. A crystal clear pool we swam in that was surrounded by beautiful plants was dry when we went back. The little water in it was murky and gross. It would have been better if this change was natural, but it wasn't. A dam had been built downstream and it completely changed the river. The world is changing.
I wish humans didn't have as much of an effect on nature. We are constantly growing and our space expanding. We always need more, more of this, more of that, I don’t even want that piece of junk, but I’m going to buy it anyway. We are destroying this beautiful world and there is no way to get it back. The world is changing, forever.