Saving nature, or saving humans?
This little video doesn’t do justice to the magic happening on this mint. It is full of moths, butterflies, bugs and bees all dancing together. It made me want to share the following words....
When we bought the land here in Portugal, I thought I was coming to do ‘environmental work’. I told a story to myself that we would help the honey bees, reforest the pine monoculture and bring life back to the soil. We would help water stay in the ground as we live on a planet who’s body is being dried out by human activity. Now I can see it was an ego led story I was telling myself, one I feel so different about today.
I know now what I do, I do to help myself because it’s humans that need help, not the other species. Planting trees, getting my hands in the soil, sitting with the honey bees and connecting with the natural water cycles is basic mental health for our species. By doing this myself, I am contributing in some way to the possibility of me and other humans being able to stay here longer on this planet.
We live in a time of great opportunity for those of us alive now, from the new borns, to the youngsters being nurtured and to our Elders. The opportunity to remember, to come back to nature, to spend long amounts of time with nature. For me, there is no need to save another species but simply to be with them, in the wild, and witness and listen. In ways that make our own heart sing. Time walking and sleeping under the stars, being barefoot on the earth, sitting around a fire, swimming in a river or hiking in the mountains for days. All support another way of seeing that opens up new collaborative possibilities. The material consumptions, the achieving, the convincing, the trying, the saving, all just fades into insignificance.
Something slowly arose in me since being on this land, that I could see myself more and more as the whole, I am that which is being destroyed by our human actions. My experience has been once I had planted 1 tree, I wanted to plant more, I wanted to tend them and look after them. A deep joy knowing it would be here in decades to come, that I am leaving a legacy for the future generations. The more I plant - trees, plants, herbs, vegetables, the more I can feel my health becoming more vibrant. The more I see the other species multiply - the worms, the insects, the birds and the mammals.
Last night, in the middle of the night, I walked under the stars, the new moon having just passed. I felt like an animal with my fellow species. I could appreciate the impact of my own wild nature being tamed through my life, the domestication to the other species is only what we have done to ourselves. As I walked I felt such gratitude, such beauty and such privilege to be alive at this time to see our potential in this chaos. A time of possible human extinction from our ignorance and control. And yet knowing that absolutely anything is possible if humans come home to nature. No scientific report, no save the bee campaign, not the next World Economic Forum or the next UN climate conference will save humans. Only me and you can save humans by spending much more time with nature to be shown the insights and beauty of life.
As for helping the other species, I am all up for it, as long as we are honest to ourselves first. We are actually helping our own survival. The planet will continue and heal itself without human life, but I’d like to see a different story as us humans are truly beautiful when we remember who we are.