You may have known many Julys in your life, and, if you live in the north of the world, your memory of those summer times year after year may be of preparing for holidays, languid heat and school exams, the winding down of institutional life and skeleton staffing in offices, trips to the seaside and paddling pools in the garden.
This customary seasonal way of summer life carries on still, but it is as if it is breaking apart into two different realities: in one the fundamentals of natural life and therefore our lives continue timelessly as farmers are preparing to mow their hay meadows while birds rush to complete their nesting and some summer visitors such as swifts prepare to leave. In the second reality, beneath the façade of a familiar July structure, there is a restlessness and a disquiet increasingly expressed out loud about the state of the world and decisions being made by politicians that are risky, baffling and unpopular, from Biden’s plan to block the Sun’s rays from reaching Earth, to bringing Ukraine into Nato now, to requiring every home to have a heat pump under Net Zero, and to allow drilling in Antarctica. Trust has gone.
This July, the two conflicting realities of the reassurance of the rhythms of nature and common sense, and the breakdown of trust in our decision-makers challenge each other starkly as tensions rise and storms wait to break later this month. We are seeing war pitted against peace, love against hate, endings and beginnings that are wild and shocking as fires consume careers and people, land and principles. Abuse of power and disrespect for the vulnerable will be a dominant theme in July and into the future beyond, and we see it already in decision-making relating to war; misuse of the power of office; arrogance concerning financial equity and prudence; and in revelations relating to sex crimes and perversion at all levels of society and in the most trusted of institutions. The sacred nature of sexual union has all but been forgotten in a civilisation where graphic pornography and casual sex can be an addictive way of life and one which does much harm.
At this time of internal and external turmoil, I encourage you to watch and see, to learn and choose. The revolution is coming, and it may be you are among many who will say No to your leaders, to reject the people and parties who do what serves them and not you, who pay lip service to but disregard the desperate needs of nature and Earth, the many who demand a better way.
The follies of July are unedifying but they show the underlying truth of our society and will be an encouragement to change it: truth is power, and you have power.