Before the End
Let’s pretend the world is actually about to end, at 12.52 pm GMT on December 21st – the Mayan Apocalypse. How would you spend the final days of your life?
Husband’s vote is to open our Christmas presents – those that are already in the house, giving up on those that have yet to wing their way here with family – now so we can get some joy out of them before we snuff it. Not a very inspired choice perhaps, but one I put down to his positive nature. He can’t even fake-believe that the end is neigh. That, and the fact he can’t pass up a chance to snort at the extreme naivety of some people. And, if we are brutally honest, because he knows there is a man-toy waiting for him under the tree and he is a child at heart.
The kids are sold on opening presents early, obviously. My son demonstrated his growing maturity and cunning by adding swiftly that he’d like to see his girlfriend one more time. Ah, to be 16 again!
And me, I ask myself – what would I do?
I would splash out on the credit card and take my family to an idyllic tropical paradise, the gentle lapping of the sea lulling us into pure relaxation in our hammocks under waving palm trees. We’d be tired from exploring the unbelievable riches of life above and below the waterline, having followed fishes, admired corals and anemones, and stalked elephants, lions and leopards. Shush, all these creatures live in my paradise; they all deserve a loving farewell. We’d have a few great last meals and talk under the stars.
Perhaps you were expecting a loftier target for my last days on earth. But it is too late for that, I shall have to face whatever reckoning there may be on the merits of my life lived so far. I have strived to live a good life, and I am actually pretty proud of most of it. The things that didn’t pan out were well-intended none the less. You have to take a risk sometimes. On the whole I don’t regret much of it. Now all I want is to pay tribute to the marvels of this Earth, and exit happy.