It's almost impossible to follow a post like the last one. I feel the weight of responsibility having said what I said.
I should start by thanking everyone who commented so positively and kindly. I never fail to be touched and delighted by the supportive comments I receive here. You people, who are kind enough to read my blog, are good people, and I am very glad to know you.
I was hearing on the radio today that global warming is no longer a theory - it is happening right now. The learned professor was telling us that it is extremely unlikely that anything can be done to stop a significant change in climate till about 2050, when some of the measures we are starting to put in place may have taken effect.
Till then, we must reap the damage already done and concentrate our efforts on minimising the effects. On the plus side, winters are warmer and so we are witnessing less deaths due to cold. On the negative side, there are more floods and we stand a significant risk of a severe heatwave one summer which could kill thousands.
When I look at a picture of the world taken from space at a particular angle, I can just see the glow of our atmosphere. Boy, does it look small. Barely enough to colour in, were the world a colouring book. (which it isn't, but imagine what fun it would be if it was?) Our very existence hangs by a thread, and yet we don't seem to care. Our fragility has little meaning for us.
We could walk out into the street without looking and get hit by speeding gnu, causing our sudden, bloody and furry death. It COULD happen. Yet we feel so safe in the intricate constructs of our lives. We have our rules, our clothes, our houses, our social gatherings, our conventions, our language, our food, our entertainment, and our many and varied jobs. In the peak of life, when we have all these things running smoothly, maybe we dare to feel complete.
I'm not so sure. I think part of us - maybe just a tiny part - but part of us is aware that we are little bundles of skin, bones and water, clinging to a spinning world with a pencil-thin strip of air to keep us alive. I think it is this little part of us - the one that has a clue about our true place in the firmament - which seeks for more meaning to life than is afforded by merely dancing the dance expected of us by society.
Sure, it passes the time, and there is a comforting rhythm to it, but that life which seems so normal literally hangs by a thread for us all. If one person close to us died - if a marriage broke up - if someone became chronically ill - if the waters rose and flooded your home or your town. So many things could upset that delicately poised apple-cart that is our everyday lives.
We are a truly fortunate generation - living after two awful world wars and probably dying shortly before the next, where our enemy is likely to be the elements around us. Our children, and especially our children's children will fight it, and I hope they find ways to equip themselves well for what lies ahead.
So, in the last years of cheerful waste and thoughtless living, how will you choose to live your life? This amazing freedom we have been granted is also a fragile thing. Surely we need to use it wisely and enjoy it thoroughly while we still can.
But what, I hear you ask, about that part of us seeking for more meaning to life? I believe that is our in-built need to find God - and it is interesting to see how different people endeavour to satisfy it - or not. From obsessive hobbies to mystical beliefs of all sorts, people certainly seek high and low in an attempt to scratch their spiritual itch.
Or they just get busy and try to ignore it. It usually works, I'm told. Unless they think too hard. In response, I think I would urge everyone to think too hard. Maybe even harder than that. It's worth it.