War Weary (re-edit)
WAR WEARY : Turning to Nature for Solace August 2014
There is no one on this earth who is not affected by all the wars, and rumors of war, these days. Of course, all through the history of mankind there have been wars and rumors of war, and according to some thinkers and writers this is how it will always be, forever.
However, that is not what I want to debate, or discuss. I only wish to convey a few of my personal feelings about how war is affecting people, all people, and the natural world upon which we depend for survival. Whether people are aware of it or not, those in the muddle of the Middle East conflict, or here in the USA where we are not hearing air raid sirens daily, or starving on a mountain, we are all affected. There is not one thing on this earth that does not affect another.
Now how can I say that ? Aren’t we insulated from the worst of it here in America? Actually, we are not. “Whatever happens to the least of these happens to us all”. Some very wise person said something like that over 2,000 years ago. Actually, the words are more like this: “Whatsoever ye do to the least of these, ye do also unto me.” No wiser words were said.
Most natives of America thought along the same lines. They were natural ecologists, born and bred with “all our relations” in mind as a way of life. Some wise native said that we are all connected, that what befalls one part, affects another, and more…that a great sadness would befall us, as human beings, when there are no more sounds of nature and we loose the company of wild creatures. The natural world uplifts our spirits with its amazing beauty and diversity. To a degree it is here for our use, but not for our abuse. So, as I look around at what war, greed and materialism have done to the natural world, and are doing, I feel a profound sadness that I cannot seem to shake.
Such is the sadness we all feel, whether we are conscious of it or not. We are all affected, we are all war weary, weary of wars between each other, and war against the natural world. The earth itself is weary too, its water, its air, its swamps and rivers, its plants, its butterflies, bees, birds, the polar bears, and on and on. Shall I list every remaining species?
I turn to the purity of nature for solace everyday. As I wandered my gardens today, picking dried peas for next years planting (now there is an act of hope) and herbs for a healthy tea I need to make, my thoughts were solemn. What if there comes a day when there is no pure air to breath, or clean water to drink, or swampy breeding grounds for myriad birds and amphibians to thrive and procreate? In Syria, Gaza and Iraq, and many other war torn places around the world they are already experiencing serious problems, and my heart bleeds for the innocent, hardworking people, little children and old people, all suffering due to the ignorance of their leaders and ruthless radical movements. There is no clean drinking water and poor sanitation is pervasive. Women are being kidnapped and sold into sexual slavery. If the perpetrators care that little for women, think how much less they care for the environment. Swamps are drying up, rivers and lakes polluted. The inhabitants are traumatized, are war weary, so am I, so are we all, and so is the Earth.
Yet, there is always hope. There are people doing their best to keep the balance between … and I will say it as it is…good and evil. To water it down, saying between dark and light, life and death, is stoically philosophical, though certainly true. However, this is not a philosophical exercise. This IS a war, another sort of war, a genuine fight for survival, and not just for survival of humans, but for the entire delicately balanced ecosystem. Every time a bomb is dropped, a missile fired, precious Life is despoiled, contaminated. For that matter, every time we climb in our car and turn the key, or turn on a light switch, we are contributing to the problem. Does this mean we should drop out of society? Maybe…
It is important to question why are we throwing this precious gift back in the face of the Giver, the Great Spirit, as well as our OWN spirits. Doesn’t, shouldn’t, everyone know that without the purity of the earth, we will all sicken and die, together, some sooner, some later? I suppose some people simply do not care enough, or think, or feel for that matter. If ignorance and misled materialism continue as they are, and if misguided leaders feel only pride, hate and fear, then we are doomed indeed.
Am I war weary.? You bet ya I am. So are you. Now, what to do about it ? I say, turn to the purity of nature, and fiercely protect and nurture it, wherever, however, you are able. Do what you can to lessen your footprint on the earth, assist other brave souls who are working in the front lines to remedy the ills, and pray for strength to persist. That is our only salvation, our only hope. Then someday, when we are truly weary of this life and it is our time to say farewell, with forgiveness in our hearts for those who knew not what they were doing, we will die in peace knowing in our hearts that we did the best we could.
Walk gently, but with a strong walking stick…Christine