Pennsylvania Hills

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Pennsylvania Hills

Where hills stand like gods

Wreathed in worshipful mist,

A veil of heaven’s silken vapor

Brushed by the breasts of Earth.

Where the waters of Earth’s blood

Spring forth from Her navel,

And Her children float free

Over Her Mystery.

The Pennsylvania hills were monolithic gods with clouds at homage obscuring their deities within the veil of worship.

The mists in the Pennsylvania hills seemed to promise rain but never delivered.  The view from the farm on the mountainside was like looking out upon a forest as the European settlers would have seen, and evoked the same sense of wonder and desire to take root.

Of course the high tension lines could detract from the scene if they were allowed to intrude upon the idyllic vista…

I think that’s a clause in the contract of life.

Where I learned to smoke a pipe was a utopia of nature.  No matter that man intruded, no matter the beasts he brought, no matter the boughs he broke, the land was as it had been since before his birth and would remain so long after he departed.  Primal, primeval — cliché compared to the reality.  Natural, eternal — despite the best attempts by her visitors to render her otherwise, so she remained.  And when these guests were departed, there would again be giant forests and pristine waters — even should their departure be heralded by the unquenchable flames of their most infernal machines of holocaust.

How could anything so endurable be brought to its knees?  And how could we do it?

Ask the neighbor who cuts down a tree in another’s yard out of spite.  Ask a man who feels hatred for another without knowing his face or the faces of his fathers.  Ask the leaders whose agendas bear resemblance to the ravings of those most mad.  There is the quest for destruction; there is the geas of the Opposer.

But for now, the land bides its time.  Unhindered, growth will return.  Unencumbered, the land recovers.  Even the thirst of the suns released upon the Mother of All Known Life will slake one day.  Then there will be new life — which is the way of things.  And always has been.

When the wars began it seemed a documentary of some distant catastrophe.  What suffering I witnessed seemed so far removed from my reality that I thought myself a dreamer in a sea of fantasy, very dark fantasy.


The Wars

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Pennsylvania Hills

When the first device was released, we lost most every bit of electronics that was powered up. Naturally, the bastards knew we would have the ability to turn on more, so they waited a full month before letting the next one go.

I had a layman’s knowledge of what electromagnetic interference could do before the wars, when airliners rained from the skies and electronics seized up like rusty old bolts…

Now, it simply doesn’t matter.  Internal combustion, steam, hell even coal power are the norm again.  I use a Savage 30-06 to hunt for food, and keep my land free of fools who still think their cellphones will come back to life.

“The satellites are still there!”  They insist.

I don’t usually have the heart to mention the meteor showers that immediately followed the second device.

I’ve heard all of the scientific information about how there is no way anyone could have a device with enough power to do the job, but the fact remains…  It happened.

The hardest thing for everyone now is not trying to win the argument, it is fighting to survive.

Fortunately for me, I have an edge.  My father was a Marine.  Not a Marine of the new millenium, thank you.  A Marine from the mid-Twentieth.  He fought fourteen wars no one ever heard of, then went to VietNam, three times.  Then he came home to raise his kid.  When I was eight, my old man took me to a pistol range…  I learned how to shoot straight with a .22 before most of my friends had graduated from GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip.  By then, I was also drown-proof, so said the United States Marine Corps lifeguards who trained children on the weekends at the base pool.