It’s as hot as hell. The map of Europe is red everywhere. Like your whole world is burning.

So you head out, up country where it’s a little cooler. Just you and your girl. You find the perfect spot with no one else around. You feel a little guilty burning all that fossil fuel to get there but you promise yourself that one day, as soon as you can you’ll get a little electric car. You’ll take the train, ride on buses, dust off your old bike and walk more. But for now, you’re just escaping the heat and watching the starbows forming across the darkening sky.

You know you can’t stay like this for ever – just the two of you, off grid, living a simpler life.

You feel like you’ve lost something precious as you pack up the car, turn on the ignition and head for home.

A week or so later you’re chatting to your mum in her cramped kitchen, plates stacked up on the counter after a meal you’ve just shared.
“I feel like the world’s on fire,” you say, “and I don’t know what to do.”

Your mum is smart, she works at the university, recycles everything she can. “I don’t have any easy answers,” she says, “but if the whole world is burning, then the whole world needs to change.”

“But how? What can we do?”

You know what she’s going to say. It’s what she always says. It’s why you came to see her.

“We’ve got to start somewhere,” she says. “Whatever you can do, just do it. Don’t feel like it’s too small or inconsequential, because if we all felt like that nothing would change. You don’t need to be Greta Thunberg. But you can do something. Just do it.”

You kiss her on the cheek. Go home. Take one last look at your beloved camper.

Then you put it up for sale and try to remember how to ride a bike.

Blog photograph copyrighted to the photographer and used with permission by utata.org. All photographs used on utata.org are stored on flickr.com and are obtained via the flickr API. Text is copyrighted to the author, Debra Broughton and is used with permission by utata.org. Please see Show and Share Your Work