By Barb Hauge
Yes, here we are; 2000 and counting. ... Despite gloomy predictions of disaster, we in rural Montana don't expect things to change all that much. We've been giving friends midget champagne bottles of bubbles that you blow; a gift for the child in each of us. On New Years Eve its the safest bubbly around.
What with Computer Bugs, Y2K Problems and International Terrorists the World is gearing up for immediate and catastrophic change. Yet change has always been the most permanent factor in life. Born in 1918 and 1925, my husband Art and I have seen enormous change in our lifetimes; from horse and buggy to supersonic jet and from fence-line telephones to the Inter-Net. We've been a part of cruel Depression and vicious War but have also experienced Middle Class affluence, progressive education and the privilege of travel. We are proud to have lived in the 20th and the 21st Centuries.
At our age any future is iffy but we do not have Y2K worries. In the event of civilizations melt-down we'd probably just rig up a way to draw well-water via our plastic bucket, dig a hole for a two-holer outhouse and fire up the generator to give us lights and heat. If we run out of fuel there's always candles and the fireplace. Every year we stash away enough food from the garden to tide us over until next year. We are the generation born to homestead shacks without plumbing or electricity. We knew where to find veins of surface-coal adequate to heat the shack.
Among predictions for The New Millennium are "Everything's Rosy and Bright" to "Civilization Will Drop Out of Sight." Global warming will surely be a problem unless the health of our Space Ship Planet Earth gets top priority. Kevorkian, the only Doctor of Death who admits to it, says "Our booming technology shows that it also creates future woes which will threaten existence through jobless subsistence as burgeoning populace grows. Our 'civilized' self-righteous claims of virtue belie our true aims: like the Romans, therefore, what we really care for is bread and our spectator games. These portents all seem to demark a coming new era quite stark which will even outlast the Dark Ages of past with a fury much darker than dark!"
Others give rosy forecasts of gene and computer chip development that will cure cancer, AIDS and all human ailment, that will control Earth's climate and lead us to colonize even beyond our Solar System. We will produce abundant food in biosphere gardens, increase human intelligence and prevent the birth of defective creatures. Our Home Planet Earth will truly become The Garden of Eden, devoid of even one pesky Serpent Devil.
Yes, I am sure that future, like past Millenniums will have their share of natural and man-made disaster. And so we continue to pray that human-kind will gain the wisdom and knowledge to heal Planet Earth, its flora and fauna and all of Earth's creatures. We pray that, as we travel among the Stars through Time and Infinity, we not loose our capacity to Care and to Love!