Everything Changes


Photography by Ron Butler

The world was quiet.

An unnatural, eerie quiet where every footstep echoed off the empty trees, the washed-out paw prints of animals who left their burrows and did not return. I stepped through the forests, the deserts, the oceans. I walked and I watched, and all was quiet. The air was still, the sun unmoving in an eternal moment of not-quite-dusk. No crickets chirped, no squirrels chattered, there was nothing left. I was the only one, in an empty shell of a world where nothing grew, nothing healed, nothing changed.

What could I live for, when there was nothing left? No creature called out for aid, no human slashed at the beautiful foliage in their destructive development for the betterment of their own species, and none other. My legs to my chest, watching the perfectly still ocean reflect the world around it with not a ripple, contemplating.

If there was nothing left to live for, then I would live for myself. One day, things will change. One day, I will wake up, and it will be dawn. There will be a sunrise. There will be a breeze. The world cannot stay the same, motionless, empty; it cannot be this way forever. I have nothing left, but I will press on, because one day there might be something.

And that is hope enough.