Thursday, August 27, 2009

In the Mirror: One Species

Before I was a Mum, I could read a book in a day. Things change. I am currently enthralled by Peter Heller's book "The Whale Warriors" - his account of the 2005 expedition of the controversial Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's campaign to save whales from hunters in Antartica. Despite being gripped by this rollicking and wrenching eco-escapade, I feel like I am actually limping through the chapters, grabbing at the time it takes to absorb the words on the page inbetween my other loves and responsibilities.

What is echoing in my mind though, in the spaces between the absorption of a great story and living life, is Heller's quote of Sea Shepherd leader, Captain Dave Watson that: "To the Earth Warrior, a redwood is more sacred than a religious icon, a species of bird or butterfly is of more value than the crown jewels of a nation, and the survival of a species of cacti more important than the survival of monuments to human conceit like the pyramids." Heller adds that Watson reitierates that all of our human arts - music, poetry, architecture "were as dust when compared with the survival of a single species of bird or insect."

I have a great love for human arts - but I still agree wholeheartedly with Watson.

Our greatest, most meaningful love is a fundamental love of Life. Irascrible pirate that he is, Watson's call is a call for Reverance. I believe this is so vital to human beings today. Without reverance for Life we are so very vulnerable to follies. Unacceptable follies that cost other species their existence, impoverish our present world and degrade the places our own children will inherit.

To be of any real good use, our capacities to respect and care need to extend throughout the Web of Life that sustains us now, into the long future. Every species counts. Whaling and logging, polluting and mining, burning and treating with chemicals must stop. Why are we still doing this? Let's use all that human ingenuity and energy to renew, restore, re-create and re-build. It's not just time, it's overdue...

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