Reflections on Waste and War, Healing and Peace, and Global Warming as “Fever.”
August 16th, 2021
On the morning after the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, I am considering crisis, war, and terror, and the beauty of the walk to school with my daughter as she goes to teach the first day of second grade. The morning sun is lovely, although the light is slightly orange, a reminder of the wildfires raging in another part of the State. I study and appreciate a mural of George Floyd and the butterflies, “We the People… want to Breathe!” The houses along the walk have personality —expressed in their front-yards and gardens —and secrets (both lovely and dark) of the lives that shelter within those houses, that call them home. The trees are beautiful and the flowers are exquisite.
Our planet is rather like a patient living with cancer. There is beauty, and there is disease. One point of view is that we are dying of the disease. It is also true that there is great healing and regenerative power, if we can contain the illness and enhance wellness. Can we bring gratitude for life, deep appreciation of the beauty that we still have, and hope tempered with hard work, for the restoration of our global home? Can we stop producing the toxicity and cultivate the conditions that allow healing?
In any living system, elimination is essential. We’ve all got to let go of what no longer serves. In the Earth system, there is no “out there” dumping ground — — it is vitally important that our waste be in a form that can “return to the earth,” break down and be reused, without being toxic to other parts of the living system.
Similarly, “Peace” is not some idealized absence of conflict between different points of view, but a dynamic process in which opposing points of view can co-exist within a mutually enhancing framework, and where violence and destruction and terror are not the chosen tools.
We live in a beautiful Earth-home, and we have created some terrible conditions — — war and toxic waste are ultimately expressions of human selfishness and greed. Our planet is responding with its own form of “fever,” global warming! Fever is a sign of disease. It can also be a sign of a “healing crisis.” Let us be grateful for Earth’s loveliness and regenerative power, and study the ways that we can eliminate the toxicity, reduce the violence, and enhance the vibrancy of Life.