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A Warning from a Small Town


"Awakening" is both a chronicle of recent events in a small town in northern Cailfornia, and a fictionalized version of those events.



Ben and Barbara Connor believed they had found the perfect summer getaway a few miles from their foggy coastal home. 


They worked hard to make it a peaceful sanctuary in the mountains. Ben's pet project was a swimming pool to beat summer's heat. 


Then, heartbreak. In the space of a few months, 'Mother Nature' unleashed one calamity after another.

Threats from their backyard forced the Connors to reconsider the viability of a home in the wilderness. 


The Connors heard it said that nature always reclaimed what man took away. Only when the Connors faced nature's wrath firsthand did they awaken to the seriousness of a planet in crisis.

FROM THE BOOK: “Ben, we can’t ignore what’s happening around the world, and now, I fear, our little world here.”

“You mean ‘global warming,’ Barb, or ‘climate change’ or whatever you Democrats call it today?”

“What anyone calls it is not the point. The point is, it’s happening, and now right before our very eyes, right in our own backyard.”

“You don’t see it, Daddy? After what’s happened here in the space of a few months? To say nothing of all the weather disasters around the world? Droughts, floods, hurricanes, fires? You don’t see that?”

The sudden introduction of partisanship in a particular (unpleasant) tone of voice was a rare event in the Connor marriage. Alicia couldn’t remember it having ever heard it. In hindsight it shocked and worried her, but in the present, she couldn’t resist speaking her mind.

“It’s not about what I see. It’s about what, if anything, is behind it. Stuff happens. It always has, always will. Stuff is now happening here. Do you imagine there were no forest fires here 500 years ago? No tornadoes in the Midwest? No massive hurricanes in the Caribbean? No droughts in North Africa? What’s different is the world’s population is exponentially greater, and thus those weather-related events affect exponentially more people. Maybe we ought to be paying attention to that!”

“Yes, we should, along with the increased CO2 those people put into the atmosphere. But some people I could mention don’t believe in population control—only certain types of population control ..."


“What?” his impatience showed.

“Have you been listening to yourself? You’re the one who brought up population growth. I believe you characterized it as being ‘exponential.’”

“Look, I do believe in limiting population growth. I stepped up.”

“You mean your vasectomy.”

Barb got a sharp facial rebuke from her husband, as if to say, ‘be quiet.’ She returned that look just as sharply, as if to say, ‘stuff it!’

“So, Daddy, let me get this straight. No abortions, no condoms, and no pill before or after. Then, the goal of population growth leaves … Withdrawal? Every male gets a required vasectomy after siring how many children? Two? Three? Eight? Where is that line drawn and by whom?”

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