I knew before I clicked over which island in the Chesapeake Mental Floss was referring to, though I sort of hoped that the magazine was mistakenly writing about Holland Island, which sank into the bay years ago, the final house collapsing recently into the water.
But no, they were writing about how climate change is sinking Smith Island, our family’s special spot. It is so beloved that we even named our car Smithie in homage. I have written about it many times. Many many times.
It hurts my heart to think about an entire place sinking away. We’re not talking about losing a specific building or not being able to return to a place (but knowing it still exists), but an entire island disappearing under the water. Once it is gone, there’s no way to fix it, no way to bring it back. We did this. We made this happen.
We changed the world with technology and industry, and in the end, we changed the world. We literally changed it. We changed the surface and all below the surface and the water and the coastlines and the mountains. We didn’t just change our day-to-day lives, but the spaces in which we conduct those day-to-day lives. And we changed it for every single creature on earth, not just ourselves.
And now we have islands disappearing underwater and mudslides and fires.
It’s a sobering thought: to consider your favourite town on earth gone, completely erased.