The Rising Tides

I was reading an article today in the Bangor Daily News about rising sea levels and the impact of housing on the ability of the Scarborough Marsh to respond to climate change. The Scarborough Marsh is breathtaking and dear to me.

In 2020, I wrote an essay that became a finalist entry in 350 Wisconsin’s 2020 personal climate stories. I must have written the essay in their online form because I never found a copy of it. Later, they emailed me my submission! The thing is, I had been writing this essay every time I sat watching my son fish for stripers. Every time I kayaked. Every time I was in awe as white cranes lifted into the sky.

Later I created a slide deck as a prototype for Tangled Lock Journal’s MoonBites. I am reposting. The link to the news article is above and the text-only version follows the slide deck.

The tides here swell and spill into the roads, more often now. Houses cling to shore. Most pretend that this is normal because to say goodbye is too hard. But I say goodbye every day as I walk and drive past the waters that I love.

I study the topographic maps. “This Portland neighborhood will be the new Peaks Island,” I think, as though the change will be gentle. But the sea is not gentle. Storms will batter the coast and tides will pull the ground from beneath our feet.

We let the low tides trick us. “See,” we say as we kayak out on the waters “the sands are here as they have always been.” And in a far away place, an ice sheet crumbles.

Finalist entry for personal climate stories, 350 Madison’s 2020 #givingtuesday event.

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