She waited on an outcropping overlooking the Salish Sea. At the university, she studied journalism, and he, environmental science, but his real interest was art. They’d been close until they approached graduation. Demons they faced near that important juncture in young adults’ lives pushed them apart. Two months after commencement, he suggested they meet at one of their favourite spots. Did his invitation presage a return to happier times?

He sat beside her and leaned back, digging his fingers into the thick layer of emerald green moss covering the rock. “You okay?” he asked.

“Yeah, fine. I’m on a better path, and it’s going well. What about you?”

He gazed into the distance. “Depressed. Consider this scene. An iconic red and white lighthouse with circling seabirds and harbour seals basking on rocky islets sweeping across the near field. Farther away, a solitary island, and soon we’ll have a spectacular sunset infused with yellows, oranges, and reds. It’s something fit for my artist’s brushes, but I only see environmental stress.”

“But it looks so harmonious.”

“Nature’s never in balance,” he said as she shifted closer. “You’re looking at a highly integrated dynamic system where everything’s in flux. Without a daily input of sunlight, it will collapse. We’ve thrown a monumental wrench into the works. It could upend these delicate ecological balances, and life as we know it could disappear.”

He lay back, scowling as he stared heavenward to where the invisible carbon dioxide gas humanity pumped into the atmosphere overwhelmed natural inputs. It was trapping heat and causing countless problems.

She laid her head on his chest and waited for him to remember he wasn’t alone. When the brilliant sunset expanded to fill the entire western sky, he looked down and caressed her shoulder. She smiled. “You need someone to share your voyage and help you merge your interests in art and environment.”

“And you? Does your fresh start merge your interest in journalism and the environment?”

She stood silhouetted against the sunset’s colourful glow. “Together, with our lives and passions in harmony, we could make a difference.”

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
1 month ago

What a lovely story, Alan. Your male protagonist paints such a beautiful picture that could be lost forever unless action is taken. I love how the two of them come together at the end, looking to the future and vowing to make a difference.

Julie Harris
Julie Harris(@julie-harris)
1 month ago

I really enjoyed this story, Alan. It reminded me of one that you wrote a couple of years ago, based on your brother the artist. I have devoted my life to music, but am also an eco-warrior, so I’m always interested in stories that combine any sort of art with environmental healing. Great job – it’s nice to read one of your stories again!

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
1 month ago

I see the reuniting of the young couple in your story as a symbol for humanity’s return to a harmonious relationship with Earth. I enjoyed the optimism and how the couple decided to use their skills together, committing to do what they can for everybody’s future. Great work! I’ll also take the opportunity here to thank you for your masterpiece A Body in the Sacristy. After having seen your presentation of it… Read more »

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
Reply to  Alan Kemister
1 month ago

I forget where I saw that you made a reference to your books published on Amazon, Alan. I thought that it might have been in the Winter Cafe section, but I just checked and it isn’t. As you say, you probably didn’t mention A Body in the Sacristy there, but that’s the one I decided to pick when I was checking out your production at Amazon. And I liked the book. Even… Read more »

1 month ago

If everyone did a little, a lot would get done, thats the message I read Alan

Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
1 month ago

Alan, I enjoyed your story for its colour, optimism and the idea that by working together better changes will happen.

Lisa Dykes
Lisa Dykes(@lisa-dykes)
1 month ago

Hi Alan, I enjoyed your story very much and the way in which it was written.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 month ago

Such a lovely story of two imperfect individuals talking about the future and the imbalance of nature. And end up trying to look for harmony to make a difference. A very positive take. Well done, Allan. 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Alan Kemister
1 month ago

Cheers on our imperfections but doing our best in our own little way for our mother earth!

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