The View From Here

Ed Smith
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We've all been sweating our way through this fantastic summer.

A summer such as we in this glorious province have not seen in three generations. The last time I saw weather like this I was 14 years old and we were jumping off the head of the government wharf the day after school closed.

The thought that's uppermost in practically everyone's mind is that finally we are getting what we deserve. Finally, God has taken notice of his long-suffering servants here in the North Atlantic and rewarded us for our diligence in well doing.

If there is divine justice, we are saying to ourselves, the world cannot possibly come to an end on Dec. 21 because we are due another 20 years of this stuff before we catch up with the Annapolis Valley, let alone the Okanagan in B.C.

It is not for me to slouse cold water on your little spiritual parade, but if I don't, who will? I, who am so highly thought of in the United Church that I have my own pew. Actually, it's only a half pew because they had to take out the seat itself to make room for my wheelchair.

Good they did because now that OH is also in a wheelchair (temporarily, we hope), there is room for both of us. A couple of rows ahead on the same side another half pew has been removed to accommodate a young friend of ours who is also in a power chair.

Across the aisle on the other side you'll find another space just like it to accommodate any other chairs that turn up (with people in them) and also the cameras on those Sundays when the community channel wants to videotape the service.

Have I digressed yet again? It's the heat, you know. Anyway, here comes the rain, baby, as Ed Ames used to sing. He had a beautiful voice, but may have been better known for playing the part of the Mohican Chinchacook (that may not be spelled correctly - my Mohican has suffered through not having had opportunity to use it often enough in conversation) in the TV series "The Last of the Mohicans."

I'm doing it again, aren't I.

OK, here it is. God has had nothing whatsoever to do with this piece of paradise we're calling the summer of 2012. Doesn't that sound like a great title for a novel: "The Summer of 2012"? You have to say it with rhythm: "The Summer of Twenty-Twelve." Something like that classic bestseller "The Summer of '42."

Someday I may write about my summer of 2012. Then again, I may not.

Of course you're right, the great mass of unbelievers amongst you are chortling. Anyone with any sense knows that. It has to do with global warming and the climate changes that are already beginning to overwhelm the planet.

More to do with the idiocy and greed of human kind than the goodness of "whatever gods there be."

Well, naturally. God moves in mysterious ways, like through the Gulf Stream, and sometimes not so mysterious, like you. But in this case, I don't involve God at all, not in any way, shape or form.

This beautiful summer, my friends, is all the fault of the devil.

Now get your chin up off the floor along with whatever other portions of your anatomy may have followed it down there, and hearken up.

You're probably surprised to hear me admit that I believe in the devil. I don't, not really, but I have invoked his name so often in the last 60 years (you know, "the devil made me do it, Mom!" and "the devil jumped right up in me and I lost it!") that I can't dismiss him/her/it entirely out of hand.

So I'm blaming the devil for this absolutely fantastic summer. You may wonder why. If I can stop digressing long enough, I'll be happy to explain it in terms that even an atheist could understand.

First of all, there is evidence that we are beginning to take this kind of warmth and comfort as our due. I said as much earlier.

I've said it before. But that's a mistake. That attitude puts us on the slippery slope that the devil is counting on to take us to his ultimate goal. I'll explain that in a moment.

Sometime soon, you see, probably before the end of August, this will all come to a whimpering end. The Northeast wind shall blow mightily upon our puny defences. The temperature will plummet to a daytime average of less than 5 C.

The bikini will give way to the sweatsuit, old men's eyes will pop back into their heads and young men's hands will come out of their pockets.

Suddenly we will be back to where we always were: cold and shivering in the summer winds. What do you suppose our attitude will be then? Exactly!

We'll complain mightily that the good times are over and we are back to where Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are supposed to be: at the bottom of the hole. Getting the dirty end of the stick. A lot lower than the angels.

So, who do you think we'll blame for that? The greater unwashed - the hard core of nonbelievers - won't blame anyone. Climactic change, they'll say. It's all we can expect. And the fact that we are Newfoundlanders doesn't help.

Those who credited God for all the beautiful weather will now blame her for having lost it. There will be a great falling away from the churches.

Those who don't fall away will cut their givings in half, which is 10 times worse. And that is the devil's ultimate goal!

The other likely reaction is that the fanatical element will immediately begin burning their boats and preparing for The End, forgetting that we are simply once again at the beginning of "normal."

But for now, let the good times roll.

Ed Smith is an author who lives in Springdale. His email address is

Organizations: United Church

Geographic location: North Atlantic, Annapolis Valley, Okanagan Gulf Stream Springdale

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