Encroachment. It’s what civilization does. I found out yesterday there’s a “convenience” store with a Subway “restaurant” going up at the corner that turns off the main road to my parent’s house. The main road is still a two-laner that runs parallel, north to south, along the railroad tracks. There’s a little church on the other side of the road. It’s a fine little corner that’s about to be encroached upon and made ugly, concreted over and lit to high heaven. Because somebody needs to make money – of course they do, and because we all need better access to Jared’s preferred weight-loss food.
I also found out earlier this week the dam proposal for the Flint River is on the table again. Because Atlantan’s are running out of water, dontcha know. Never mind it’s one of a only a handful of rivers that still run free for a few hundred miles. Never mind the halloween darter or the shoal bass who thrive in the Flint. Just never you mind now.
Encroachment. It’s what the multiple sclerosis does to my friend’s body. She weebles and wobbles and can barely stand but she won’t use that walker; oh no. She’s losing her teeth and her brain a little at a time and all I can do is take her elbow and make sure she doesn’t fall, get her out of the house that’s become her prison for an hour or two, tell her I love her.
Encroachment. It’s what addiction does to all of us – those of us who know we’re addicted and those of us who don’t; it does the same thing. It’s what cancer does, depression, alzheimer’s and modernity. Encroachment: It’s slow, steady, unremitting. Today a Subway tomorrow not a tree left for miles. Today a dam tomorrow not a salmon left. Today a tremor in your hand tomorrow you can’t stand up. Today a beer tomorrow one hundred won’t do it.
Some encroachments can’t be stopped. But some of them can if enough of us wake up from our slumber and decide enough is enough. Some people have already decided, they’re wide awake and ready to act. They’re gathering now.