Desert heat lurks in the valley. Once a fertile crescent, it is slowly being burned away. Not enough rain since before I was born, wildfires drawing ever closer feeding on the husky grasses that thirst in hope. Our lifeblood drained away by bottling corporations whose friends point their fingers every which way but themselves. And yet we still hope, for water, for green, for an end to this land of fire and dust.
Nearby an orange grove releases the sickly sweet smell of its petals, hoping to draw in the bees who live in freshly imported cages. Heavy with pride and fruit in the summer, they do not mind if a hungry child takes one or two of its swollen globes while resting in the shade. The peacock that struts through is a testament of its keeper’s wealth.
Elsewhere there lies a bamboo forest, nonnative, planted by some careless soul. But still it grows, stubbornly, patiently, like our people. And while it has no use for any adult. Its poles make the best swords the children learn, but it takes hours of scraping with a pilfered knife to make it useful.
Sunlight burns us from the washed out sky while we play, its fiery orb unmerciful. Clouds do not bring the relief of rain, instead ash falling down as delicate as snow. A warped echo of its festive counterpart. A reminder of our closest friend. To many it is a life bringer, its colors bright and colorful, and its shape ever changing, ever hungry. Fire we are taught, is something to fear.
Flames which raze the hills and trees, shooting up taller than the sky. Purifying/killing the land while men fight back its awesome fury. The land thirsts for water it says and if we don’t share it, than we all shall die.
We do not listen, our eyes are blinded and our ears are blocked by those who have other agendas. They who live in towers of ivory and gold. “Why should we share our water?” They say “Nature is for man’s profit for our pleasure.” Do they think they are safe just because of the wealth they live in?
Do they not hear the whisper from Nature as she prepares to send the flames again?
Do they not hear her warning? Her promise?
“After all,” she croons, “gold melts and ivory will burn”