Ode to sea changes: Florida’s slow motion volcano

Swamplands remain where no human has ever set foot. Isolated islands in Florida Bay and wetlands in Everglades National Park do not welcome our kind. Mosquitos rule these muddy fiefdoms of mangroves. Life here is too wet, too wild for us land mammals.

But I can’t help feeling that humans just need to be near. To live on the edge, to peer across the ocean’s surface and feel wonder and fear. To try so desperately to control nature—to devour our daily slice of sunset. Before death, victory over mosquito and cockroach. Pest control, nature control.

Fools, we are. We are so lucky to be here, enjoying clean air, enviable weather, endless oceans and painted skies. Where dolphins and turtles roam. Florida’s natural state.

Florida does not belong to us but to the water that occupies it. Water coming at us from all directions. You inhale the humidity with every breath. You smell the wet salt and the muddy sulfur, while springs deliver pure sweetness. The water washes everything, clean. It cannot be contained.

The seawater is not the same as it was. It is angry. It is acidic. Its very chemistry has been altered by human activity, and it is plotting its revenge.

Many people sing Miami’s praises as the city of the future. I say that my city has no future. But I will always love you. Isn’t that enough?

I can do what the snowbirds do. I can pack my bags and leave this place when it serves my purpose no more. I can flee, as humans do when tragedy strikes. We move when we must.

Take me out, Jimmy:

“I got nothin’ more to say. Let me hear you, now
I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m a gonna go
when the volcano blow. 
Let me hear you now, 
I don’t know, I don’t know where I’m a gonna go 
when the volcano blow.”


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