Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The World is for Loving

I live near the Pacific Ocean. As I drove home from doing some errands last month I took the route that goes along the seashore. As I gazed out at the placid Pacific, with waves rolling gently in under the brilliant blue skies, I tried to imagine what it had been like on the other side of the world just a few days back when this very same ocean, in the form of a tsunami, smashed into Japan after the 9.0 earthquake of March 11th.

Even though I knew it had truly occurred, it was hard to transpose that image onto what I was seeing as I drove the coast road. It was, even with my vivid imagination, impossible to turn those beautiful, gentle white waves into the dark, viscous roaring crashing wall of water I’d seen in the news reports. It was hard to imagine it rearing up 40-50 feet, and hurling itself furiously across the beach and inland, into the neighborhoods beyond the shore.

I love the ocean. I’ve spent many, many years living mere yards from it. During its most wild and tempestuously stormy moods, it would crash against the rocky cliffs nearby, sending puffs of seafoam into the streets. But it never approached anything tsunami-like. I’ve always known it could, however, as do most people who choose to live near an ocean. And this knowledge inspires respect. Those of us who choose to live near an ocean (as opposed to those who simply end up there) have a healthy respect as well as a love for the ocean. We know what she is capable of and know the risk we take when we choose to live in such close proximity.

As I drove along that day with these thoughts in my mind and the sea beside me, I began to think about how much I love, respect, and value the ocean. Mother Ocean....The ocean is the womb of life on the planet; our distant ancestors oozed out of its primordial slime. In a very real way, the ocean is our mother. She is a nurturing mother—providing us with food, beauty, and means of transport—and yet she can also be a destroying mother—as the tsunamis of the last decade and other sea accidents have shown us.

At this point in human history we humans are scientifically aware. We know the location of earthquake faults. We know the importance of the sea to the chain of planetary life. We know the power of the sea and the danger of tsunamis.

So why do we continue to risk the health of the seas by drilling in them for oil, thus risking the kind of catastrophic oil spill we lived through last year? Why did we ever think that dumping our toxic wastes into the sea was a good idea? Why do we risk the health of the sea, and indeed, the health of the entire chain of life on the planet, by placing our most dangerous sources of energy—nuclear power plants—on the shores of the sea? Are we, as a species, risk-takers to the point of suicide? How much abuse do we think our Mother Ocean can take without there being repercussions that effect ALL life on the planet?

Respect is what is called for. The oceans demand our respect. All life on the planet demands our respect. We humans do NOT have the right to pollute and destroy the world. We are one species out of many; an important and intelligent one, but still only one of many. No matter which religious creed one adheres to, respect for Life is usually one of the precepts. This respect must include all species of life and stretch even further, to the mother of life—our planet.

The world is for loving, respecting, living on and in. It is not for harming or destroying to satisfy our greedy, myopic, short term needs.

The need for safe, clean energy sources has never been greater. It has never been more strongly emphasized than at this time of the earthquake & tsunami-caused nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

Will we get the message this time?



Blogger Morwyn said...

I hope we get the message. I too see the ocean as Mother. i was born in Florida and miss the ocean very much. I live in Indiana now. The streams, lakes and rivers are my connection to Mother Ocean now.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Herryponting said...

That is brilliant

4:19 AM  

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