Hello, friends of Gaia! Climate scientist James Lovelock, the central developer of the Gaia hypothesis back in the 1970s, died last week at 103 years old. An obituary in The Guardian states: “He warned, in clearer terms than any of his peers, of the dangers humanity posed to the extraordinary web of relations that make Earth uniquely alive in our universe.” I recently returned from a 2-½ month pilgrimage to Scotland and Ireland, where my appreciation of this magnificent, mysterious “web of relations” deepened considerably.
Now, back at home, I’m beginning to write a book! It will incorporate earlier writings in this blog, along with revelations and instructions I received on my recent journey. The book will recount my own ideas and experiences with what I call Nature Magic.
Here is a draft of the Preface:
In April 2018 I took part in a powerful 5-day retreat in which we explored the deepest parts of ourselves and worked to reclaim our most profound greatness and uniqueness. During our time together, I contacted and released an enormous amount of energy and power that had been suppressed inside me all my life. I returned home with this personal mantra: “I can have whatever I want.” I had never completely believed that before, and, with awe, I felt my deep Self empowered and enlarged. Here is what happened a few days later:
I drive to a place outside Santa Fe to go birdwatching. It’s along the Santa Fe River, downstream from the sewage treatment plant. The river—emblematic of many rivers in the drought-plagued American Southwest—flows for maybe half a mile through the town’s tourist areas, and then, except temporarily during thunderstorms, becomes a dry, sandy ditch for most of its length. Southwest of town, it is temporarily rejuvenated for a few miles by the treated sewage effluent released from the plant, before it again goes dry, all the way down to its junction with the Rio Grande.
As I’m greeting the arriving spring warblers and tanagers, I feel again my love for the birds, and my commitment to these winged ones who have enchanted me all my life. I affirm once more that I don’t work for myself—I work for the birds. I want what they want. And, I ask myself, what do they want? It’s very simple. They want water, trees, cover, food, nesting sites. They want their patch of ground where they can keep living and prospering as they have for millions of years. The birds, like other wild creatures, don’t have it in their nature to “want” anything beyond the necessary conditions for life and its continuance.
And, I suddenly see, that’s exactly what I can’t give them, and neither can anyone else!
Here they are, my precious bird friends, living along a couple of miles of treated sewage water, with the river dry and lifeless above and below this small, faintly reeking green place. While the birds steadily decrease in number, the county still grants building permits for 20 new homes here and 100 new apartments there, when everyone knows that there’s not even enough water for the present population. And there’s seemingly no end to this destructive short-sightedness, here, or anywhere else in the Southwest, or, really, anywhere else in the world.
So—no! I can’t have what I want! None of us who love green Nature can ever have what we want: a fertile, diverse world whose robust living web generously supports all life, human and non-human, where all beings are respected and live freely in their home place, and know that their descendants can too.
I’m stunned. I feel like I’ve run full tilt into a stone wall. I cry and cry. And, finally, a calm inner voice says, “Now it’s clear. The only thing I can do is learn to work the strongest Nature-based magic I possibly can until the end of my days. Magic that can plant good seeds for a beneficent, rooted, green future that I’ll never see. That is how I can truly help.”
This book is one of those seeds.