The ComingMature

Up to the moment mankind as a whole began to wake, we didn’t believe it would happen. So many times before, some lunatic would throw a dart at a calendar and the carry a sign that the world was going to end on that day. Some would be committed to asylums and some would develop a group of believers. We called them cults and several were arrested for various criminal activities. And when the chosen date came to pass, some persuaded their followers to commit suicide. Others just picked a new date and made a new sign. So the date of December 20, 2012 as the latest date the world would end was just another urban myth for almost everyone. And an urban myth it was, nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Across the world we were bombarded by documentaries and fringe news stories about the newest end-of-days date. But there was a sense among some of us that this was more than just mad ravings. Some of us thought twice, read up on it and really studied. And of course what we found even before it began to happen was that it wasn’t the end of the world that was coming, but the end of the world as we knew it. There was a band of musicians in the 1980’s called REM that made a song with that title. I’m surprised we never formed a religion based on their music. Even now I can’t get that song out of my head. How I wish that at least some of the belongings we owned had survived.
It wasn’t until the year 2010 that many of us began to prepare. No one was sure exactly what we were preparing for and there weren't very many that actually associated their planning with any particular date at all, but more with simply a different way of living.
For centuries, humans had been preparing for various things such as this by building castles and fortresses for protection, stocking supplies and weapons, or even building armies. And when I began to prepare myself and my family, there were people all over the world with bunkers and other protections. They were ready for anything, they had been ready for years, and were damn well armed to defend themselves and their supplies. A few of us knew these armors would not help at all. What we needed was the ability to survive without the markets and infrastructure that had been in place back then. We felt a sense of impending isolation, not violence. The sense of the coming truth was fleeting, but strong enough to cause planning as the day got closer.
I framed my own preparations in learning about gardening, livestock like chickens and a milk cow, solar and wind energy and inventorying my marketable skills like cooking and candle making. It was perfectly rational and in some cases even fashionable to be self-sufficient and self-sustaining. In the extreme, it was called “going off the grid,” meaning a person could survive without the infrastructure of power stations, other utility services, and social and commercial systems. Another handy effect for many was the ability to be completely un-locatable. In moderation, it was called being “green,” meaning to be less of a burden on these systems and infrastructure, helping the world use fewer resources in general. Green was the new cool in those years. For me however, it did not come easily. It is far more difficult and time consuming to sustain oneself alone and I had other things on my mind. I was a single mother to a teenage boy and was working full time; so the actual solar panels and milk cows didn't come until well after the "Big Changes" began.
The big changes began in late 2010. Thousands of people across the world suddenly began to drop what they were doing and completely change paths. It was as if the stars were aligning for more and more people to catch their lucky breaks, achieve successes, pursue passions, and make their dreams come true, as we used to say. The world was on fire with optimism. As if by magic, if one had a dream that was virtuous, one was able to make it come true. What was causing this? Some of us wondered, but came up mystified. Of course, this all came with a price, but that is for later in this story.
I had a vision in my mind of my life as I wanted it, too. Until then, I didn't have the script for how I would get to where I wanted to be, but I imagined myself sitting on a screen-enclosed porch near the sea. Linens flowing from the windows as the warm breeze blew through the house behind me, I am in front of a laptop, taking a break from the writing to stare off at the horizon. The feeling comes over me again that I have come home and am exactly where I am supposed to be, doing exactly what I was meant to do.  
But I was working for the State of Texas, for a salary that would never result in a college fund for my son, much less a house on the beach. It wasn't until the big changes began that I could find the words to write to make it possible. In 2011, I sat down at the computer one day and told a story. It was a semi-fictional and semi-autobiographical story of a mystic-turned-detective with a talent for solving murders and it would eventually be my ticket out.  
A funny thing happens when a thought becomes a movement. Suddenly, as more and more people rejected society's expectations and requirements and turned to the passions of their hearts in full, there was a veritable explosion of energy, both positive and negative. Some viewed the movement as a precursor to the fall of civilization and fought with laws and restrictions and taxes. Others tried to profit from it and quickly realized there was none to be had (at least in the form they wanted). Still others studied it and published research on their theories. And as businesses and agencies began to see employees and customers disappear and banks began to empty, those that had stayed behind began to worry.

The End

12 comments about this story Feed