Fire and Ice by Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
What with reports of pressure building under the Yellowstone caldera, global warming, solar storms, and nuclear capabilities expanding to unstable nations/unaffiliated groups, that’s a lot of heat – so I suppose fire is the likely proximate cause (that’s insurance speak for what starts it all) for the end of the world as we know it. Then an ice age is almost certain to follow: ash blocking the sun, a tipping point in the oceans, or nuclear winter precipitating that.
There’s been a lot of wild talk lately about the end of the world. The Mayan calendar supposedly predicts the date to be December 20 or 21, 2012 – coming right up.
Of course, it turns out that’s not what the calendar says at all. It says the next major earth era starts that day. I guess that’s also scary, with solar storms predicted and the world in turmoil, but it also shows how pointless panic about all this is.
It’s really all too much to think about. I don’t mean to make light of this – I’m actually a bit of a tree-hugger myself, but the fact is that most of us can’t control anything bigger than our own carbon footprints, and I don’t believe we were meant to focus on the date. We were meant to focus on living our lives every day as if we can’t “get around to it” tomorrow.
If you’ve had a life threatening illness, or lost someone unexpectedly, you understand the urgency to this.
Some people spend a great deal of time trying to calculate the end of the world – or alternately the coming, or second coming, of the Messiah. The Christian Bible says he will come like a thief in the night (see 2 Peter 3:10 – a vote for fire, by the way – and 1 Thessalonians 5:2). In other words, we aren’t to worry about predicting when, but rather to spend our days believing it could be any time. The point is to live each day as one you won’t regret, and can perhaps even be proud of.
So, I will busy myself with preparations for the upcoming season and post-December 20th religious and family celebrations of Christmas in my home, then in my sister’s home, then on to a larger family gathering at my uncle’s home.
And then I will move on to the many things I have planned for the New Year of 2013. And aside from financial fiscal cliffs, world turmoil, and craziness around me, I will try to make each day a good one.
Regardless of your faith or understanding of science, the world will end when it ends. Until then, I figure our responsibility is to make it the best place we can.
I leave you with the Serenity prayer, which I have always loved. Although the total is a Protestant Christian prayer, the first and best known part has been found valuable for those of any faith.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.
Photo: Night view of Halema’uma’u Crater on Kilauea
This post is partly in response to a challenge by Ailsa of WheresMyBackpack, on the subject: Hot. To see other heated responses to her challenge, click here. Other related posts and information: