21.6 C
Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

S Sorrensen’s Here & Now: When the time comes

Latest News

One death and 1,219 new COVID-19 cases in Northern Rivers

In the 24 hours to 8pm 25 January there was one death and 1,219 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSWHD).

Other News

Daintree buyback sees more forest retained

Over the last two-and-a-half years, the Mullumbimby based Rainforest 4 Foundation has had a mission to buy back parts of the Daintree Lowland Rainforest that were subdivided for sale in the 1980s. 

Storylines – Aboriginal Tent Embassy 1972–2022 – the power of patience

As the 50th anniversary of the Aboriginal Tent Embassy draws near, the attention of the nation is again being drawn to the lawns of Old Parliament House. However, this time the actions of the few do not encompass the views and needs of First Nations people.

NRAS about to kick off 2022 adoption days

Local animal charity Northern Rivers Animal Services has kicked off 2022 with a bang, with more cats, kittens and puppies needing homes in Ballina than you can shake a rescuer at.

Sunrise paddler with Rainbow Dragons offers new era for seasoned campaigner

Former long-distance paddling champion Brooke Harris has found new sporting life with the Rainbow Dragons and likes to take advantage of the new 6am Sunrise session in Ballina.


Mick woke up this morning to a great epiphany. So, we’ve decided to forget all our activism, we’re going...

Tweed Shire celebrates Australia Day online

Tweed Shire Council says that in the interests of public health Council has rearranged its Australia Day celebrations on Wednesday, January 26.

Image S Sorrensen
Image S Sorrensen

S Sorrensen

Here. Now.

So, when the time comes, I want to be prepared. I hope you are too.

When the time comes, it will come rolling in like a dark wave over these green hills. The bird calls will be replaced by the roar of engines, the wail of sirens, and the blat-blat of gunfire. Helicopters will hover above the valley, like once did the wedge-tailed eagles, except that these noisier birds will flatten the corn, snap pawpaw tree trunks, and freak the wallabies into narrow lantana tunnels and copses of ironbark.

Trucks or Toyota utes or motorbikes will rumble up your driveway like a scene from Mad Max, or from the social media coverage of Aleppo, Mosul, Baghdad, Kabul, Donetsk, Chibok and Sana’a. (We are separated from these awful realities by the pixelated unreality of our screens. This separation protects us – it can’t happen here, we think.)

Soldiers or looters or jihadists or neighbours – you can’t tell who; they all are masked – will jump from their vehicles, armed with legal or illegal firearms, once designated as appropriate for law enforcement, sport or farm management, and will march up to the door of your house in the bush.

Or maybe not.

Maybe, when the time comes, it will be a slower tide, flooding these valleys with season after season of no rain. The lantana leaves will drop, forming a blanket of fire fuel beneath the ironbarks, angophoras and flooded gums. Your tanks will empty, the pawpaws shrivel and the green turn to brown.

Climate change, once a discussion topic around lattes at the local cafe, has come to where we live. Climate change, once a football kicked about to gain advantage in a stupid two-sided game we call politics, is now the kicker and is booting in changes to the great ocean flows. The 11,000 years of predictable seasons (the Holocene) that gave rise to agriculture and civilisation have ended.

You will want to move, but everywhere is the same. Drought and flood, fire and famine. No more latte chats over chocolate frangipane and cherry tart.

Or maybe not.

Maybe, when the time comes, it will be a disease made into a super sickness by a diet of antibiotics, and will travel from person to person, country to country via mosquito or Boeing – or simply waft on the breeze.

Or maybe not.

Maybe everything will be just as lovely as denial can make it: higher profits, smarter phones, better television series, cleaner coal, cheaper frangipane and cherry tarts, and we all come up Trump. (No way. Some scenarios are just too silly…)

I don’t how the time will come, but the time is coming and I want to be prepared. I want you to be prepared.

I realise now that all we have is love. I won’t take my bow and arrows up to the cave behind my shack under the cliffs to set up the last stronghold. I won’t drag cartons of baked beans, jerry cans of water, batteries and a solar panel to the cave, carefully covering my tracks, so as not to be followed by the newly desperate. No. Love is the only preparation.

Humanity is not only the human genus, Homo sapiens; it’s the human ability to love despite (or maybe because of) the chaos of our brief existence. Civilised life has crushed our humanity; has replaced love born from the transient magic of our shared moment in the sun with a mundane bundle of fear tied together with the lie of a religious or financial other life.

So, when the time comes, I want to be with you – to relearn our humanity, to ignite love in the wasteland of civilisation, to cherish the brilliance of our brief existence together.

Maybe the time has already come.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. Here here S. Never were truer word written……. Maybe humanity will survive and thrive or maybe not…….
    We only have each other!

  2. Cool, cool, very cool! Yeah! John Lennon said it so well too. Let’s keep on loving… on and on… from Here and Now into Eternity

  3. Thanks S for expressing this brooding dark realisation dawning on some of us. Expressing such concerns in conversation can feel like serious bummer which can make it hard to raise sometimes, but yes it feels worse to be in denial and in the dark. Better to at least try to imagine some possible plans, hard as it seems right now.

  4. Ah, such musings. You’ve gone all esoteric on us!
    I do believe though, in the power of love.
    I do believe that the majority of humanity does want love, family and connection.
    If “civilised life has crushed our humanity” – well then, it’s not a very evolved civilisation…..and I’d rather love and commune with my tall wise forest….such a sage, grounded (pardon the pun) community.
    I think that will prepare me.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Kindness to animals recognised in Tweed Shire Australia Day awards

The care Amanda Philp has provided to numerous animals on land and from the sea has seen her recognised as Tweed Shire Citizen of the Year.

What does Australia Day mean?

Another Australia Day. Another divisive polemic about the date, the day, and its meaning. Those who seek to change the date argue that 26 January signifies the beginning of Britain’s invasion of Australia and the violent expropriation of Aboriginal lands.

Man charged following pursuit – Far North Coast

A man has been charged with driving offences following a police pursuit in the state’s far north.

More government support needed for nurses

What would it take to keep our nurses and paramedics from resigning en masse as the current crisis in the NSW health care system worsens?