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The end of a hot summer
Peering out of the train window on my way to Schiphol Airport, the landscape rolls by like a film. Brown leaves on the lush green meadows are reminders of the fading days of summer. It's been an eventful 100 days in Europe, but now, it's time to return to Canada.
I left a million footsteps behind in Northern Spain, where I walked the French Way for the second time. My mind is filled with memories of visits to Paris, early morning swims in the North Sea, meeting old friends in Brussels, and making new ones in Zürich.
Beautiful memories, but they mingle with a deep sense of unease. While I enjoyed the planet's beauty, the summer that just passed has been relentless for others and has been breaking climate records across the globe.
The images of raging forest fires, devastating floods, and scorching heat waves haunt my thoughts. It's as if the elements have risen in revolt to humanity's neglect, starkly confirming what scientists have warned us about for years. The specter of climate change looms large and is more terrifying than ever.
This evening, the scars of wildfires will greet me in Canada. Like nearly 200 other countries, it feels the pain of this global crisis. We are all in this together, bound by the shared burden of a changing climate.
In my heart, I wish that the capitals of the wealthiest nations, where decisions that shape the planet's fate are made, would feel the heat first. But the reality is harsh. In the air-conditioned offices of world leaders, the future often seems distant, obscured by political fog and economic interests. Meanwhile, the poorest in the poorest countries have a vision for the future but lose hope for a road map that will lead them there.
I continue gazing out the train's window at the classic Dutch landscape and enjoy the changing seasons' beauty. The clouds above paint masterpieces in the sky, and the near-autumn light bathes everything in a soft, golden hue. It's a reminder that nature remains resilient and breathtakingly beautiful even in the face of adversity.
As I ponder the challenges ahead, I hope the world's leaders will heed the urgent call of our changing climate. The pain is real, and the consequences are far-reaching. It's time to prioritize for our future and for the generations that will inherit the world we leave behind.
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