Loosing Things

This month’s issue of National Geographic has an article about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which the federal government recently reopened to oil drilling.  What the f?$$?... The images of sweeping tundra, blue ice worlds, and the rare and regal species that inhabit that fragile landscape leave me feeling sick and defeated.  Why am I not there, flinging myself beneath the treads of digging machines?  Why am I not out chanting and waving my protest sign on Pennsylvania Avenue?  Why am I still driving a car to and from work?  I have no good answer to these questions.  I can only say that I feel so small and the problems seem so large.  I know that so many others feel this impending sense of loss.  The radio tells another disheartening story of environmental protections dismantled as we shuttle ourselves to work in the morning.  We relay the troubling news to a coworker.  We carry it like a wound.  We are bearing this collective burden.  It is heavy and overwhelming, and I wonder, when the unraveling gets to a place where it begins to tangle our daily lives on more than just an emotional level, when we are breathing polluted air and drinking polluted water, will we all collectively sigh and say “we should have done more”....?