Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Nature of Nature

There is no better analogy for our planet than the name many of us use to refer to it:

Mother Earth.

She has given us everything. She gives us breath and drink and food. She presents beauty to us every moment of every day. Mother Earth is life and desire and sustenance and mystery. She gives us a reason to wake and roam. There is no better analog for Nature than Woman.

And there is no plainer way to describe what we have done to Nature than rape. Even if we are not directly involved in the brutalities perpetrated against Her, we are a party to it. We stand by and watch and do nothing to stop it. Some of us whine about the way Mother Earth is treated, but we do not act to halt these crimes. No corporate board members are executed. No industrialists are tried and imprisoned. No architects of mountaintop removal are taken out and shot. These vile among us are allowed to enjoy the wealth of their crimes and to die in bed, at the ends of long lives.

Eventually, those brutalities we condone will result in a final death. We will have murdered She who birthed us. We’ll realize one day that the bosom against which we have so long been held so lovingly will be cold and dead.

And we’ll follow the others down into that lightless pit we call Oblivion. We’ll deserve what we get. We will. But the others—the companions with whom we travel this globe—are not deserving of our own fate. The tigers and elephants and rhinos did not take part in our crimes. They did not contribute to the rape and murder of Mother Nature.

But it won’t matter, they'll have been destroyed all the same, preceding us into the void.

I see it coming, and there doesn't seem to be a damned thing to be done about it. There's nowhere to turn for justice. And perhaps that's what our own extinction will be: a cold kind of justice. But no one will be left to call it so.

Whenever I encounter a giant dead or dying hemlock tree that stands alone I usually take its photo. We're the reason that they're all dying, and I just like to record the standing corpses, to acknowledge our collective guilt. This one was well over 100 feet tall, probably as old as our nation. It likely took this tree 200 years to reach this height. It's now dead--I'd say its life was gone this past year. And all because of us. Say goodbye. This is what we're doing to Mother Earth. This is the same fate that awaits us at the end of the road we're gouging into Her flesh.

No comments: