A couple weeks ago I had a dream. I awoke from it feeling awed and sad, and confused as to why that should be so, since there was nothing in it that was overtly saddening. Indeed my dreaming-self was impressed by the vision I was having, but always in the background was a tint of sorrow, that upon awakening, only grew stronger. So I wrote what I dreamed in my notebook, and as I wrote, the reason for my sorrow became clear. Two nights prior to the dream, I had watched part of a documentary on the plight of polar bears in the face of global warming. I was unable to finish watching it. It was too heartbreaking to see cubs drown in storm-tossed seas that should have been ice; too agonizing to watch a starving mother and her cub digging in rubbish for food when the seals are plentiful. The saddness hit harder than I had thought, for two nights later this is the dream I had, as I recounted it in my book:
The mountian is tall and craggy, dark with iron, massive red against the pale blue sky. The path up to the lake is wide and true, ducking under massive red stone arches winding around the body of the Red Mountian. The lake at the top, at the foot of the summit, is half-frozen and it shimmers a crystaline blue under the shadows of the Peak. A deep, glacially carved gorge at the end of the lake feeds a massive waterfall, where the dark waters of the lake crash onto the broken rocks below the towering summit. On the lake, people play. Some skating, some swimming, some sunning on towels set up on the red shore. And above them all is the rocky finger of the peak, slicing the heavens as if to touch the stars. The mountian had once been covered in ice, and no one could conceive that its stones were red, and now its sticks out like a sore thumb against the green and brown earth below it. The lake was once a glacier; only the vauge skelton of its form remains. And people come to gawk at the red peak, to swim its vanishing waters, to tan their skin under its shadow, while the waterfall pours out melting ice as if the mountian were weeping.