First the Robins, Then Us

Once again, The Writer’s Almanac provided inspiration. A recent poem — Evolution in Indiana by Richard Cecil — contains these lines:

after two snow-free years in a row
the local robins all at once decided
to winter here instead of flying south.
I watched them pace my lawn in late November,
debating like small Hamlets with their instincts:
“It’s way past time to migrate; why haven’t I?

“Evolution in Indiana” by Richard Cecil, from Twenty First Century Blues © Southern Illinois University Press. Reprinted with permission.

First off, I congratulate Mr. Cecil on his fine imagery: the picture of robins pacing and pondering which action to pursue is priceless. “To fly, or not to fly: that is the question.”

Unfortunately, it’s a question that one day we may also face. The people in Louisiana have already been dealing with it for three years; the consequences of climate change (combined with poor government planning) have turned them into little birds wondering which way to fly and where to touch down for food and shelter.

Unless we all stand up, as the people at AA meetings do, and say “My name is ___ and I believe that global warming is real and man-made,” we’re all going to be like those robins one day — wondering why the world we knew isn’t that same world anymore.

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