The title of this post is not a mere hashtag, metaphor, or hyperbole. It is a simple stated fact of human existence, a simple fact for every living organism on this planet. That an economic benefit of any level should supersede its value and protection is insane. That we would allow the violation of indigenous sovereignty is criminal. That we would ignore their humanity in favor of anything, let alone profit, is disgusting.That the pipeline was rerouted from predominantly white Bismark is a real time example of the immoral systemic racism deeply embedded in our government. Our Earth Mother needs us to stop killing her with fossil fuels and mass food production. If you are not standing against this bullshit than you are part of the problem.
“It’s lovely, the transformation, you have made!” He yelled at her, smiling. A few years ago she could barely stay vertical on snow and ice, and here she was keeping up with the best of them, albeit on two poles, but here she was nevertheless. They were cruising over to a snow path that was marked DANGER:DO NOT ENTER. It was suppose to open out to an advanced slope that would lead them to the bottom of the mountain. Two snowboarders in their group worked here and said it was relatively safe, that the resort was just super cautious and born on eggshells.
They passed the sign and immediately the incline changed. A few of them let out whoops as each picked up speed and someone yelled, “Turn your cam’s on, boys!” A dozen of them spread out, ready to take what the trail was ready to dish. Remember to breathe and stay calm, her inner voice said. Trust your instincts. They soared down the mountain as if wings were attached to them, jumping and dodging, their laughter spurring each other on.
As they rode down the path her mind drifted back to her childhood when they use to go snow-tubing. At the end of the path off to the side they had a large field filled with mounds of snow where snow forts and snow sculptures were built, and where snow ball fights often took place. That same playful feeling that filled her then filled her now and she smiled, letting out a joyous laugh.
The slope declined and there was a little leveled out part they decided to stop and rest on. They huddled in a circle, out of breathe and laughing, adrenaline still pumping; there was plenty of mountain left for them to enjoy. To ski down an incline like this, to feel this, this rush, this electricity, oh man she just couldn’t wrap her head around it, couldn’t even form how she felt in to words.
She was admiring the sky when something she saw over she shoulder caught her attention. She turned fully and watched in horror as the mountain transformed. Where there had been smooth snow was now rolling white balls of anger with one reason, one purpose: to conquer. The snow they had glided on and passed must have seen their booming laughter as mockery, as disrespect, as if she could read the DANGER:DO NOT ENTER sign and was punishing them for passing it, or maybe she just felt like coming for them.
The whooshing sound of the snow eagerly rolling towards them filled her ears, muffling the yells and screams of the of the members of their group. All of them turned to run, including her, even though she knew they couldn’t outrun it, maybe if they had also been made of snow.
How embarrassing, she thought as they sped down the hill, that my drastic improvement boosted my ego when I should have aired on the side of caution, just like the resort.
Photo found on Pixabay.