It’s Not All Bad News from the Future

“Anticipate the storm," Boris Thaser CC, Poland, 2017

Dear Kateri,

I’ve been thinking about you today. I recently found your journal – our first journal – documenting your life in 6th grade. It’s got a dragonfly on the front and a handwritten note labelled “Private :)”. Amidst the many pages describing your middle school joys and woes, you mention more than once your fears of “Global Warming.” I remember: this is a big year for you in learning about the climate. You go to see An Inconvenient Truth and take it in with wide and serious eyes. You visit a landfill and become passionate about recycling. And that spring, April 2007, you get freaked out about a snowstorm passing through. That passage is a funny one. You write:

As I sit here in my room, snow is blasting down in pelts and the ferocious wind makes the cold air colder. And look at the date again . . . This is SUPPOSED TO BE APRIL!!! Global Warming is probably causing all this unseasonable weather. Damn that George Bush for not signing the whatever-it-is against Global Warming!

I can’t help but chuckle looking back on that . . . but I know that you are genuinely worried. And the truth is, over 15 years later, I’m still scared too. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that most of our so-called “leaders” still haven’t been signing the things we wish they would. And the unseasonable weather has continued. This year a weird warm front in January gave my body, like yours – ours, an unshakable feeling that something wasn’t right.

It’s hard writing to you after all these years; I wish I could tell you that things have gotten better, when in so many ways they’ve only gotten worse. But it’s not all bad news from the future. In the years between us, you will learn about so many forms of resistance, resilience, justice, healing, and even joy amidst climate catastrophe. You will begin looking more deeply at the roots of this crisis and gently excavating those roots from your own precious soil. And your fears won’t be contained to your journal anymore – you will find communities to share them with, kindreds with whom you can both mourn and organize.

I take a moment to pause and breathe – maybe you need a moment too. It can be a lot for our small bodies to hold all at once.

And now I hear these words coming to me, to us, from a future Kateri, from our ancestors, from our descendants, from ourselves . . .

It’s okay to be scared. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to not know what to do. Remember, sweet child, you are not alone. Remember the earth, your Mother, who has held you every moment of your life. Remember her many creatures, your kin, who accompany you on the journey. You who are alive today are not the first to face this. You won’t be the last. Breathe in deep . . . Breathe out slow . . . Savour the seasons that come to you . . . Don’t take yourself too seriously . . . Stick together . . . And keep following the Spirit – who also goes by the name of Joy. I’m here with you, we’re here with you, and we will walk together towards whatever is to come.


Kateri Boucher is a grateful guest in the place called Waawiyatanong, “where the waters go round” (Detroit, Michigan). She is former co-editor of Geez, current ministries coordinator at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, and soon-to-be Masters of Divinity student at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.

Endangered Species Series

Pygmy Raccoon,
Jonah Atkinson, 8

During the wet season, fruit and vegetation are more abundant and become a large portion of their diet. Then in the dry season, they begin to consume more of the crabs, insects, lizards, crayfish, frogs and other vertebrates and invertebrates.

Pygmy Raccoon, Jonah Atkinson, 8

Issue 69

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 69, Summer 2023, The Children Will Prophesy .

Like this article? Subscribe to Geez and get more like this delivered to your door, ad-free, four times year.

View comments, or leave one yourself

Hide comments

(No one has dared comment yet.)

Start the Discussion

Please use Textile formatting. e.g. _geez_ → geez, *magazine* → magazine.
URLs will be linked automatically.

Get Our Newsletter

(Tasteful and spam-free, guaranteed.)

All content is © 2005–2024 Geez Magazine and its respective authors.   (Ascend)

Geez Magazine | 1950 Trumbull Ave. | Detroit, MI, USA | 48216