• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 05
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Now Do You See?

When the ice caps started growing, I took it as a good sign. Nature, recovering. Maybe we hadn’t messed things up quite as badly as we’d thought.

Great sheets of ice slid southwards, bulldozing cities. My daughter screamed at the television as she watched an avalanche consuming houses.

“It’s alright,” I said. “We’re fine here.”

The television was always showing terrible things happening far away. I switched it off and sent Alice outside to play.

As Moscow disappeared under a southward march of ice, our forests were as green as ever. One bright day, I drove Alice to the lake. The water was warm around my toes, but she wouldn’t come in for a paddle. Instead, she stared wide-eyed at the glaciers on the horizon.

“They’re coming,” she whispered.

I sighed. This would be a hard topic to move her past.

All summer, the icebergs towered above the mountains, but they didn’t do us any harm. Clouds snagged on the tops, emptying their rain in sheets that froze as they fell. We enjoyed six straight weeks of dry weather. I took Alice hiking, pointing out flowers and insects to keep her gaze from drifting up.

One afternoon, we sat on the porch licking ice creams. I’d given Alice my tablet to keep her occupied while I patched a worn-out pair of shorts.

She dropped her cone and pointed. “Look, Mama!”


Now Do You See?

First I cleaned up the ice cream. The boards are prone to staining if you let a spill sit. When I’d finished, I sat beside her, and looked up.

The sky rippled like water. Waves rolled from north to south, pulled by the breeze that had felt so pleasant against our overheated arms. Sunlight shone through a narrow passage between walls of ice, glittering like a snow globe from the watery ceiling above.

I whimpered. How was the water staying up there? What miracle of gravity prevented a flood from raining down on our heads? I reached for Alice, but she pulled away.

“Now do you see?” she whispered.

I did. Of course the sky was water. Why else would it be blue? It had been waiting for something to grow tall enough to break its calm, make it shiver into waves.