We are creatures who love certainty in an environment that never provides it. We build ourselves little shelters – of words, organisations or ideas where we shelter from the reality of the constant change and evolution that is the natural world. For the most part, it works; our lives are short enough to support this illusion, but now and again, something happens, and we get to glimpse reality and understand we are never in control.
Now is such a time, as we find ourselves face to face with what is happening to our relationship with the planet.
That despite all our efforts, we never really own anything, and control very little. The best we can do is surf the wave of what is unfolding and be grateful for the privilege.
I came across this poem by Margaret Atwood, and it captured what was on my mind much better than anything I will write today, so can do no better than to introduce her words to you;
The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,
is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.
No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.