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Archive for February, 2016

Forest Friends

Tears filled my eyes as the trees I have visited most every day for 18 years were being torn down with heavy machinery. These trees have witnessed my heartbreak, heard me sing, soothed my fears and given me a sense of belonging that the human world has not. They are my friends. These ‘friends’ will be made into products I regularly use, so who am I to be against their death? Mother Nature also gives the death sentence; it is the cycle of life. Additionally, I do not doubt that the remaining trees will benefit from the openness and sunshine. So, what exactly does make me so sad? With contemplation, I feel it to be the lack of reverence for their life and the community they live amongst. The ground is now covered in debris and the deep frozen tire tracks of the machinery. Trees have been proven to communicate with each other, as well as promote the growth of others, including different species. Here is a short video on How Trees Communicate. In my words, not having words or tears does not equal an absence of community or compassion.

 

The first week of cutting, the birds were silent. Later, not so much, as they flickered around not knowing where to go. Same with the deer wandering down the side of the road, wondering where to take refuge. I haven’t heard a peep or seen the sight of the porcupines that often move slowly among the tops of trees—what are they doing? And the Barred Owls I’ve run into regularly, how are they faring? This forest is personal for me as I know it intimately. Yet, my tears are not just for these specific trees, but equally for the condition of our culture and current lack of appreciation for the earth that sustains us. We live in an artificial and disposable society that believes itself to be real and important. Money, for instance, is a human construct, yet it has become equivalent to our life-force. In the above situation, the falsity is that we need to “manage” the forest for it to thrive. That is only potentially true today, because of the damage humans have done over the last hundred years interfering and altering the natural growth cycle of a community of trees. No matter what, life will go on. For the forest, for the animals that call it home, for the men doing their job and for me. The real question is; will we have reverence for that life as it continues?

 

The natural world is real life. Culture, on the other hand, is an agreed upon structure in which groups live. Humans have many different cultures, each wild species has their own culture, and plants have theirs. Meanwhile, we all share the same oxygen that gives us life. I believe in restoring a world that is genuine, true and reverent for what is wild and alive.  I am obsessed with the possiblity that humans will merge modern society with that ancient life. I am devoted to mindfulness and questions that bring us to what is real. Mostly, I am committed to inspiring humans to feel the connection that exists between the earth and all that live upon her; those with two legs, four legs, wings and roots. We have been given the divine gift of life. Let us choose wisely how we use that gift.

photo 2-1

 

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