In honor of today being Earth Day, I thought I would share some of my earliest memories of ecology and the need for ecoactivism. Some of you might remember the 1992 film, Fern Gully; some of you likely weren't yet born. I didn't know there was a sub-header for it until I was looking up information again, but it's "The Last Rainforest." That should, perhaps, have been a clue at least to my folks when we went to the theatre, but all my five-year-old self knew was that it was a movie about the Rainforest. The Rainforest, where the monkeys and jaguars lived. The only rainforest my young mind knew of was the Amazon, which for someone growing up in southern California in the early 90s, isn't too terribly strange. I only just realized that the story takes place in Australia, a land that though beautiful also holds the current record for deforestation and extinction of species (1).
It was a shock, I assure you, when the largely idyllic forest was introduced to the Levelers, gears grinding as giant sawblades plowed through the ancient spaces, tearing apart the land's song and smudging the histories.
I vividly remember the abject terror seeing the oozing, shape-shifting Hexxus terrorizing the forest. I couldn't understand why anyone would allow companies to kill the rainforest, to terrify the animals, or unleash the violent and deplorable oil-monster into the world. How could humans, a species of and dependent on the Earth possibly justify disrespecting and dishonoring the guardian spirits so blatently.
Of course, I was no where near as eloquent at 5, instead going the route of most terrified young children: sobbing hysterically, with a few screams thrown in for good measure. At least that's what I've gathered from my own hazy recollections and what my mom has said over the years. And, really, that seems a logical reaction. Why should we, the protectors and keepers of the planet, sit silently as there are those acting on greed and a feeling of painful isolation, grabbing whatever they can from this beautiful, living orb?
No matter what people say, what they tell themselves to rationalize it, we are part of nature and nature is part of us. She can exist without us, but we cannot exist without her. Regardless of what spiritual practice you ascribe to, if any, humans are factually, entirely physically dependent on the Earth. It just gets deeper when you factor in ecospirituality, the ancestors living and interacting through the land, elements, and space itself.
The take away is this: even with decades, centuries in some regions, of destruction and pain, the Earth still provides what humanity needs, still cares for her people. In the story, the faerie guardians of the rainforest took one of the loggers into their midst and showed him the destruction, the pain from their view. Working with the ones to cause the pain, it can be lanced. Working with the Earth and her spirit, humanity can heal--not just the pains inflicted between humans, but that of the very planet herself.
That is what is needed now. I will leave you with this, today: humanity cannot exist without the Earth. She is our mother, our origin, and our ancestor. She is worthy of honor and respect. We have the power to reverse the pain inflicted by humanity. It's just a matter of beginning. And the time to begin is now.
1. Pike, Francis, (3 June, 2015), "Australia: World leader in deforestation and species extinction." https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/australian-logging-and-the-end-of-species,7788. Accessed 22 April 2018.
2. Fern Gully movie poster: http://www.impawards.com/1992/ferngully_the_last_rainforest_ver1.html