She, who keeps an eye on what I do on these pages, has remarked that three times in the past year I’ve written columns entitled “They’re Coming,” and added: “You can’t keep writing that.”

Well, here I am again, looking across the news maps and singing nature’s old sad songs.

Mother Nature, as in the past four years, has taken, once again, to sending us to our rooms without our supper.

All the pretty weather ladies have been pointing at the big maps with trembling hands as they run their fingers across their maps, and it’s all about the states affected.

This summer — that would be everywhere — disaster has become the 51st star.

The entire South, most of the Midwest, all of California and the entire state of Florida has suffered climate lobotomies.


The good news is that our fickle Mother this time has mostly spared Maine, and lots of suffering Americans have noticed.

Flocks of strangers, families mostly, Moms and Pops, uncles and aunts, cousins and their neighbors from the blazing sunbelt, torrid Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Nevada, have been packing up and moving across the Midwest.

And our cousins in Canada, beset with fires, are picking up flame-whipped friends and family, boarding trailers and coming down to us.

I get it and I’m saddened by it. The tired Texans, soaked Louisiana pilgrims, wind-burned Kansas farmers and Missouri natives, finally got super spooked and cranky after spending days and nights clearing the debris they once lived in, tearfully digging for lost pets and accepting gifts of warm bottled water from masked men.

Not Hawaii, surely. Of course Hawaii, the paradise of old Esther Williams movies, has now vanished and a month after the dragon fire swallowed Maui’s historic seaside community of Lahaina, the average price of a new home is in the millions and food prices are soaring even higher.

And once again, they’re coming. I understand their weariness. They’re coming because of climate change and the mysterious “El Nino” had put a new satanic face on summer, and has set about burning and blowing the earth out beneath their feet.


Some say they’ll stay and rebuild. But they won’t. Horrors like this will happen again.

Now, by ignoring the warning signs and turning their backs on Mother Nature’s pleas, they are feeling a solar storm burning the crops around them.

For most of these families, it’s because their states, never free of Mother Nature’s quirky temper, become cranky, tornado- and hurricane-swept monsters. So once again, like their “Okie” forbearers, they are leaving homes and farms behind like burning Dumpster fires, and heading North to the green pastures of New England.

Like, where, exactly? Vermont is having water pumped from its verdant lungs.

And then, possibly, to Maine, perhaps to bring their lives and talents to the new pine state.

The libretto is all there in the poor slaves hymn, “Mary, Don’t You Weep,” that said: “God showed Noah by the rainbow sign, no more water, but the fire next time.”

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer. 

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