My mind is a chaotic swirl of emotions, mirroring the tempest that rages outside my window. My thoughts churn like the ocean; memories and passing thoughts crashing against the inside of my mind, much like the waves are crashing against the shore. Rain and tears fight to compete for which can flow the fastest. All the while the wind howls, and something inside of me wants to join its mournful wailing.
The frightened child buried deep inside of me had been soothed for some time by the adult that I am, and by escapes in to fictional worlds where familiar characters are ready to greet me with open arms. But tonight the fears of the child were strong enough to make themselves heard. Tonight it was the child's turn to win. Tonight I am afraid. Tonight not even my books can bring me comfort, and I can't settle down to read.
Tonight I can't forget that we live in a world where people are being attacked for the crime of not being British enough, or being the wrong kind of Americans. Tonight I can't forget that there are people living on the streets and struggling to find enough money for food, while the queen is being handed a cheque for more than three and a half million pounds to do work on one of her many palaces. Tonight I can't forget that being a disabled person still makes you a target for hatred from those who fear what is different.
My fears are not for myself. At least, not immediately, though I admit it takes little time for them to turn in that direction. But first my fears are for those I know who could be caught up in the hate crimes that Brexit and the US election seem to have caused to increase. For the friends and neighbours who may be potential targets simply for the crime of being who they are; for being different, either because of a disability like my own, because their skin is a different colour, or for some other reason we shouldn't have the right to judge them for. For those who aren't friends and neighbours, but still find themselves victims for the same reason. It is for them I fear; for them I weep.
Only then do my thoughts turn to the future in general, and I begin to wonder what it will hold for us all. Where will the horrors of today leave us tomorrow?
I reflect on how some people believe that certain ancient civilizations predicted the end of the world. Perhaps it was not the end of the world they were predicting, but the end of civilization. Perhaps they thought the hatred many humans carry in their hearts would be enough to wipe us out by now. Perhaps they were wrong. The predicted dates passed with no end of either the world or civilization in sight, after all. But, as I reflect on the events of this past year, especially recent months, and how Brexit and this year's US election have brought out the worst in many people, I have to wonder if we've taken the first steps on to the path that will make their predictions come true after all. Perhaps they weren't wrong about the end result, merely mistaken about the date.