• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 10


Passing the monument always reminds me of then.

When the streets were taken by the angry machines. You had to jump out of their path to avoid them. They would honk their loud horns, put you back in line, remind you that they rule the roads. Mankind hid in those machines, emboldened by the power of being encased in the steel frame. Separated from community in this capsule yet angry at being stuck bumper to bumper, bitterness and rage festering when all we all want is freedom.

I tasted the freedom that was promised by the ads. The freedom of long drives to somewhere exciting, somewhere else. Butterflies in my belly and songs escaping my lips, my lungs, desperate to express my soul, my heart. Not realising the yearning to break out and break free. With the steady acceleration beneath my feet, I move away or towards; it didn’t matter. The push/pull of emotions in my guts bubbling away and escaping through my lips into song, reminding me of freedom. Letting happiness, as with the wind, wash over me. Letting the oxygen nourish me.

Now happiness can be easier to find in the city. The air is cleaner. The places where tree roots once fought to break through the concrete jungle have now freed the path for flowers, grasses and reeds. It’s cooler in summer now as you walk or ride through town. The canopy of trees shelters you. Their branches and leaves share the burden of the hottest summer sun, and the grass and shrubs cool you as you travel through. Where once parking spaces were a given, smothering and suffocating everything in hot asphalt cooking the earth, now gardens and edible food forests take their place. The wildflowers and foliage imprint inspiration to draw from, and butterflies and bees dance around us, a reminder of joy in simple moments.



We remember the time before but the children are blissfully unaware. They don’t need to scatter in the middle of their game. The streets belong to them too. There is no fear. No poison. Only the scent of jasmine and fig trees. Peaches and nectarines hang low for the picking and passionfruit and raspberries climb the fences. Soft moss and violets cushion underfoot. Our cities have adapted for all of us now.

People smile at each other.

Cars no longer rule the streets.

The monument stands tall reminding us of the way it once was. The cost of the world speeding faster and faster. Dizzy and sick. We could not stop to realise what we had created. We could only keep going to keep up. We didn’t know we had a choice to make a better world. And now it is here.