The pale colours near the horizon give way above to the fading indigo. Dawn creeps across the sky. The yard lights, which dot the valley to the east, a steady spot on a quiet morning.
This scene plays itself out 365 times a year. The only difference being the time on the clock that matches the rising sun. The brilliance of the snow will slowly fade to the glorious greens, yellows and blues of the farm lands below. Then the slow switch back to the fall’s golden touch which will once again be replaced by that first dusting of white.
In the western sky nightly we will be treated to the delicious colours of a beautiful prairie sunset. On a bitterly cold day the sky may burst into colour with sundogs. At night the moon keeps us company with it’s outstanding brilliance. The northern lights dance across the sky on occasion and the milky way never fails to thrill when “the stars align” and it is in it’s full glory.
The scenery and days changes in a natural progression. Nothing radical happens. Which is the point. This is my privileged backdrop to a world wide pandemic that saw lockdowns, health care bulging at the seams and a significant death toll. This is where I watch global climate change as it rages away with severe unprecedented weather that impacts so many. And now this is my view as I read and watch the news about the war in the Ukraine.
And war it is. Millions displaced; mostly mothers, grandmothers and children. Tears streaming down their faces or looks of absolute shock. Fathers, son, brothers and grandfathers left to fight against an enemy lead by a man who is so full of vitriol that it is hard for me to phantom. At this point there are no concepts really of a death toll and casualty lists as the situation is so intense bodies are not even been gathered up. The bread basket of Europe is literally being destroyed. It’s an area very rich in minerals, natural gas and productive farmland plus add in a high level of nuclear power and now it is being decimated.
It reminds me of the pictures of Syria and that is the rub that keeps nibbling at me. For over 10 years there has been “civil” war in Syria (aided by Russia) and a huge mass exodus of a country that has literally been bombed to smithereens. The humanitarian exodus crisis there has never resolved and the numbers in refugee camps is astounding as they have no place to go back to nor anywhere to go forward to. And now Putin pushes through into Ukraine after annexing Crimea in 2014. And “we” stand by.
I sit and watch my rural country side. I have sleepless nights. I give to the Red Cross. It does not feel like enough. I read other posts and know that many feel the same way. A sort of helplessness. During the First World War women and girls knit socks for the troops. They needed them for warmth and to keep their feet in good condition in the trenches. This war has people booking Ukrainian AirBnB’s so that they can get money directly into the hands of the local people. Perhaps that is the equivalent. Canadian students use their internet prowess to help fleeing Ukrainians avoid the areas of heaviest conflict. The neighbouring countries are opening their gates and it seems the world will as well. Which strikes me as unfair given the number of Syrian refuges (last count 5.6M) still living in camps.
The phrase “to hell in a handbasket” seems to keep coming to mind because on a macro level the world seems so overwhelming. And it all feels so out on my control because it is. I find it hard to write of light fluffy stuff just as I did during the discovery (now ongoing in many regions of Canada) of the graves of murdered Indigenous children sent to Residential Schools. I feel, as a free Canadian (and don’t even get me started on those stupid freedom rallies or it’s a long rant like it was at the ski hill in Saskatoon today) we need to do more.
On a personal micro level 2022, so far, has seemed to tilt towards the overwhelming as well. There have been some highs to help balance the lows. And throughout both the micro and the macro levels of life I’ve come to realize two things. There is a lot of s*** in life that you cannot control. One must hang on to hope.