A Blistery January Day
Today is just like any other day in Ithaca. I get up, toss on a light jacket and make my way to the door. As I reach for the handle, I stop, remembering to grab my surgical mask and phone. Alerts flash across the screen: Wildfire approaching your area, drought alert, new ration schedule. I swipe away the familiar messages that seem to occur several times a week and open the door.
As I step outside, the immense heat envelops me, making my skin itch underneath my light layers of clothing. Dozens of people walk around me, covered up head to toe with no indication as to who anyone is. We bustle through the city, the pavement clogged with pedestrians. Here and there is an odd vehicle, all using up the last bits of fossil fuels.
I stop short before a large patch of dirt. I reflect on the days when the park was open, fertile and green, and winter was actually cold. It is a distant memory, one from childhood. But the more I daydream about it, the more I become convinced it is a made-up memory, one I imagined from the information we learned about what the Earth used to be like in history class. I brush it off and fall back into the flow of people. So we walk on.
A Blistery July Day
Today is just like any other day in Ithaca. I get up and look out the window to see the bright green leaves of the trees swaying in the breeze and the shining of solar panels on the roof of the house next door. It reminds me to check on how much energy my own have captured.
As I pick up my phone, the News app flashes the headline The US Celebrates 50 Years of Granting Free Higher Education to All. I pocket it with a smile as I step outside.
The clean and earthy smell of plants wafts through the air. I glance across my garden to see my neighbor. I smile and wave to him as he tends to his garden. While we all don’t have our own gardens, it certainly has become a popular thing to have. We gather every Saturday to swap gardening secrets and offer surplus food. I water my own plants before getting into my car that runs on renewable fuel and drive away from my house.
After parking, I head into town square. Vendors selling all sorts of food that is clean and abundant are set up along either side. A wide variety of people are milling about, enjoying the warmth and fresh air. I couldn’t imagine the world any differently, couldn’t imagine it with those old problems that have since shrunken, with the abundance of burning fossil fuels or the heaps of trash that would be deposited far away from the public eye only to never decompose. But instead I am here, among a crowd of smiling people, and I know that the globe is full of more places like here than ever before. Here we are spending our morning, full of bliss.