Friday, July 13, 2007

Awash, Aglow, Aflame

The river speaks ... ssshhhrrrrr .... ssshhrrrrr ... ssshhhrrrrr ...
One day's rain a couple of weeks ago, plus the slightly warmer weather and the sometimes biting wind, and the trees are awash with new growth and flitting birds. Silver-eyes dance from branch to branch while the Willie Wagtail chatters on the ground below. Mudlarks graze, a Cormorant waits on the dead tree just above the mangroves, the Grey teal family parades along the overhanging branches high in the tree's canopy, Parrots murmur through the eucalypt flowers, and the Galahs suddenly take off screeching with what sounds like delight, their pink wings aglow. The new growth on the trees is a mix of pinks, reds, coppers, aflame in the shining light. A raven and a currawong chase each other crazily through the trees - it's hard to tell who is chasing who or why. It's just another day on the river. But it's more.

In the book Sustainability and Spirituality - a journey through science, spirtuality and ecospiritual and ecotheological communities in the US - author John E Carroll (2004) cites the holistic perspective of mindfulness, kindness, joy and purposeful living, from Helen and Scott Nearing (1997), who list a number of qualities or attributes which underline living with true harmony among earth and community (human and otherwise). They write (and here I am summarising): 'Do the best you can; Be at peace; Find a job you enjoy; Live simply; Contact nature every day; Feel the earth under your feet; Take time to wonder at life and the world; Keep in close contact with social justice issues; Do research; Write, lecture and teach' (Carroll, 2004:17-18).

This is the world I seek, where social justice and eco-justice blurs, spirals and soars. It's the way the river speaks - as it flows through this evocative poem by Jeanne Lohman.


is whatever comes along,
practice always here while we

keep on shore, all the time
saying we want to get wet.

But the river has ways
of sound and light, ripples

and waves that tell us:
don't be so serious, rumble in

where nothing is finished or broken
and nothing asks to be fixed.

Jeanne Lohman, Jan 27, 2006

If you want to make a comment, click on 'Comments' below.

Carroll JE, 2004, Sustainability and Spirituality, Albany NY: State University of New York Press.