Saturday, June 22, 2019

How the Land Transformed My Life

I lived in a grey little town:
grey skies, grey vistas, grey prospects.
My dreams died down,
became a lament, a longing.

Then in a last gasp of nor-or-never,
I leaped the mountain pass.
Surrounded by ocean, forest, cosmic energy,
artists, aliveness, adventure,
I was reborn at 71.

A place can do this to you,
when it is the place
where your soul is at home.


For millennia, the Nuu-chah-nulth people
lived here as caretakers of land and sea.
They had regulations, strict protocols,
responsibilities, for how they cared for the land.
It cared for them in return.
In their culture, each life is as important
as every other, from plant to lowly slug
to upright bipeds.
"Everything Is One; All Is Connected
in the web of life," they teach us,
watching in horror as we desecrate
and plunder the land and waters
we depend on for life.

The elder's face has deep lines,
born of deeper pain.
He says "The land has enough
for our need,
but not our greed."

If only those who make decisions
could hear, and understand.

Sadly, they dont. In the midst of environmental breakdown, Trudeau is still ramming through a pipeline. Fracking is destroying everything; it continues. We need the trees to breathe; there is barely any old growth left.

"Human behavior transforms the environment", says Scott Yabiku (ASU) but the landscape also transforms us. It transformed my life, when I changed locations.  The environment informed the lives of the Nuu-chah-nulth people, who lived here for ten thousand years. They had strict protocols and regulations in the way they cared for the land. Now they watch in horror as wild salmon become diseased and infected by fish farms - the salmon that is the lifeblood of this area, the forest, and their culture. Our whales are starving and dying, their stomachs full of plastic. OUR plastic. Bears, displaced of habitat, wander into towns in search of food, and are killed.

The Arctic is melting. Everything is accelerating. The effects will be felt in the lower provinces sooner than expected. Humans have transformed the environment in one hundred short years of wilful greed and plunder. But nature will regain the upper hand. Perhaps after cataclysm, humans will learn another way to live with the land - those who survive.

for Kerry's prompt at Real Toads: Human-Landscape Interactions


  1. Humans have transformed the environment in one hundred short years of wilful greed and plunder. But nature will regain the upper hand.

    Nature has provided enough to result in a balance but spoilt by the presence of the human factor that alters the equation.The population explosion has a lot to do with it!



  2. Your attachment to the landscape is most profound, Sherry. It is a quality I have always admired in you. I see it as a manifestation of your spiritual being.

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  4. Luv the care in return, as it should be all over planet earth


  5. Monday WRites 211
    is live. I invite you to link in


  6. Oh this tugs strongly at my heart, Sherry!❤️ What a most poignant poem.


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