Change is underway.
Brie and Tommy were sitting on the big bench in Miss Ann’s pilothouse as Arial skillfully guided them through the maze of small boats, past the breakwater and into the Strait.
Gray skies reflecting into large glassy rollers. Sea and sky joined in Paynes Gray monotone. Bright enough that squinting was required — yet the monotone of water and air made seeing where sky met sea impossible.
They were quiet. Feeling Miss Ann rise and fall with the swells as Arial set an easterly course. They were headed to Gig Harbor to meet with their former colleagues from Overture.
With the big diesels set to cruising speed, the trip would take all day. Time to relax. Time to consider.
“I’ve been watching the decline for years.
“It must have been 2005 or so when I felt the first glimmerings of awareness. And I was late to the party even then.
“Once I engaged, I realized that things were getting really out of balance. And worse, I also realized that my career had contributed to the problem.
“And, I began to look for signs that somehow we’d wake up and work actively to turn things around.
“I was afraid. And I was becoming increasingly cynical about our chances to save ourselves.
Tommy paused. Sipped his coffee and looked from Arial to Brie.
“Here we have a world awash in capital. We have enough money and knowledge to fix everything. Yet greed seems to override all.
“But now we’re beginning to see a growing awareness that we can’t go on like this.
“Take the fires like the one we just fought. Everyone knows that the warming climate has turned our forests into tinder. And action is being taken to shut down the use of coal and oil. Why? I suspect that when even the cities have long periods of smoky air, naysayers will begin to notice.
Tommy paused again. Discovering his coffee cold, he headed off to the galley with, “you guys want another cup?”
Brie noticed a gull riding along beside them, wings adjusting to the drafts rising from Miss Ann’s passage, “it’s all a…