In fifty years from now, I hope I can look back at this day and say I’m proud. Proud of the lessons I learnt, the love I gave and received, and the life I lived. I hope I can say I am proud of the decisions I made, the steps I took, the rules I broke and those I abided by.
If I had a telescope that could see far, far from here – five hundred years into the future – I hope this is what I would see…
Coral in the oceans. Beautiful, glowing, translucent, vibrant, bursting-with-life, coral.
And fish swimming by, delicately nuzzling against the dark and sandy corners of the ocean floor. Each one making gentle ripples in the stream of life. Shellfish scuttling along ocean beds and then burrowing their heads in the perceived face of danger – frozen still beneath the looming shadows of dolphins, and whales, and sharks, and a thousand other species, gliding above.
I hope I’d see sand on the beaches, clean and pristine, carried near from far off lands. It would shift, and slide, and squelch under-foot. A billion-trillion tiny grains of sand, each with its own story, and the capacity to give birth to life. Each tiny precious grain, just as important as the next.
And trees would line the shore, and fold back into forests – rich, dense forests that would harbour life so diverse, so intrinsically connected to everything that no one thing could survive in isolation. The interdependency, the delicate eco-systems we had saved, preserved, and protected, would be flourishing.
And there would be leaves on those trees. Old trees. Young trees. Native trees. Trees rooted firmly in rich soil. Too many trees to count. And animals would scale their branches; lizards, and monkeys, and spiders, and snakes, and cats, and possums, and funny little creatures that I don’t know the names of, and tiny, tiny insects.
And birds would nestle in their arms – safe and secure in the foliage. They would sing soaring songs fearlessly, and flit like tiny dancers from perch to perch…
And all of those creatures, they would breathe clean air. Fresh, pure, untainted air that would be shared and would inject life into every living organism, skimming from the waves of the ocean, carrying water and stories, and age-old secrets…
The wind would howl across those same oceans, and the plains, across mountains, and gullies, and deserts, to the furthest corners of the globe. And the wind would carry that pure air, and clean water, to the places that needed it most.
And that wind would touch a young boy’s face, and the rain – his cheeks – and thousands of miles south, would touch the face, and cheeks of another. Ever-connected. Ever-bound.
And that water would flow through rivers, and streams, and down the sides of mountains, and through little hidden crevices, and would meet the ocean with a crash, like it was always destined to do. That same water would fill wells, and cups on tables, and bring life to everything it touched…
And there would be laughter, and squeals of delight from children as their bare-feet would squelch in mud that spilt from the earth and its core. Dirt turned wet, replenished and full again, after all the years we pulled things from it.
And the children would run and tumble in clean, green grass. They’d run across open spaces, and watch the sun rise and fall behind the firm line of the horizon. And they’d seek shelter with their mothers, and fathers, and come together over food – not greedily, but for survival. And they would recognise that their sharing of smiles, and warmth, and love, was as necessary for survival as the air, and forests, and oceans, and water.
They would accept loss as an inevitable part of life – each one thing eventually ending and melding into every other thing. There would be no defining lines between where I ended, and you began. And there would be respect, between (and for) all things and the human race would finally have learnt, that respect is necessary for survival. For we will have realised that we are not the strongest, and greatest after all…
Our power comes from within. And ultimately, it comes from the world around us. And our survival is entirely dependant on honouring the strength hidden in the fragility of the world, and the preservation of all things that came before us. That is our power. For without these things, we are nothing. We are not infallible. We never were, infallible. History tells us so.
And there would be scars, sure. Scars marking our lessons, our age and our wisdom. But life is like that – scars show where we’ve been, the things we’ve seen, and the stories we hold.
So, I hope in five hundred years from now, and another five hundred years from then, people will look back and be proud. I hope they will be able to make sense of the lessons we are learning now. I hope they can make enough sense to see how, and why, it was so necessary to save the very things that bring us life. I hope this happens. And I hope that we are not so stupid, or so blind, not to realise that without these things, we are nothing. And maybe, finally, we will see that love is the glue that binds us all – through time, and space, and eternity – love and respect for each other, and every other thing.