Ecological grief

Photo by Blaz Erzetic on Unsplash

“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”
― Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

I’d like to think Anne Frank was right that nature will always exist but it sure as hell won’t resemble anything I recall either from my childhood or now.

And I feel the loss every single day.

But it’s more than that. I feel nature is warning us not only of its demise but ours.

Drink the water and you’ll get sick.

Go outside and risk skin cancer or worse.

Eat food imbued with heavy metals.

The list is endless.

And of course, we do nothing.

In fact, the pressure on the earth, far from abating (as it must), is increasing as more of the previously third world countries now expect clean energy, economic prosperity and the ability to have a voice on the world stage.

Sure, there are small pockets of resistance but not enough to shake us all from our needs-and-wants perch that we’re so beholden to, almost as if it’s some birthright.

What if, though, we felt the loss in the same way as the death of our mother, father or dearest loved ones?

And I don’t mean waiting until they’re gone to express our grief but the time in transition. (Think of it as love in motion.)

Even if this doesn’t seize your attention, imagine if you lived off the land as our forebears once did. Would you seriously consider killing the soil, water and air that supports your life? Of course you wouldn’t unless you were suicidal.

In the end, how you choose to respond is a matter for you but if you don’t feel the loss of species etc. deep in your bones then, frankly, we’re all f*cked — you included.

meireles_robin@mailxu.com