“Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul” words by John Muir are one way of expressing my experience of being in the forests, surrounded by the sea of trees, hearing the voices of birds, stepping on the ground that pulsates with life.
The other day, I went into a forest seeking peacefulness and grounding; however, I found the complete opposite. There were no birds to be heard. There were no old-growth trees I remember so well from my childhood. All my senses were picking up was the sound of a chainsaw, the silence of the natural inhabitants, and piles of logs in any direction I looked or walked. A massive wave of sadness washed upon me, and all I was seeing were the signs of destruction.
And then I saw it - something that shook me to the core. It wasn’t simply a chainsaw I was hearing. It was heavy machinery driven by a single man, moving in between the trees, effectively crushing the ground below, turning it into a swamp of mud, while reaching its massive arm to grab a tree, one after the other - 30 seconds and a tree was just a pile of ripped off branches and pieces of finely chopped logs. Another 30 seconds - another tree. And so it continued.
I couldn’t watch for long.
Something was screaming within me. It seemed I was watching a scene from, or rather, being in The Matrix movie - the real world of the machines and that one being one of them.
I felt our disconnection from nature and ultimately from ourselves. Our overall treatment of the planet as a commodity, a bundle of resources for humans to exploit without considering where that leads. Our tendency for domination, control, ever-growing hunger for bigger, faster, more efficient, more productive - more, more, more, more…
I felt the pain of all those trees, ripped out of their lives in such a brutal way, and the silence of birds became even more piercing.
“Into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul” - eventually, I did let go of the mind. I let go of the sounds and the image of the Matrix machinery. I allowed my soul to return to love and turned my eyes to see beauty. All of our human senses are tuned to experience the beauty of the world, and it was there, present right where I was standing. Three red squirrels playfully chasing each other in the distance, treetops swaying in a dance with the wind, life pulsating under the fallen leaves cover, first little buds sprinkled on some branches awakening into upcoming spring, the depth of greenery of conifers around, the moss wrapping itself around tree trunks almost like blanket, sunrays blessing the ground with its warmth…
I used to take action from the space of angst, despair, fear, constant time pressure because, yes, there is an urgency in regards to the environmental status of the world - there’s no denying that. However, I’ve realized how much more power there is in love and awe for this extraordinary world we live in and making THAT my driving force. Tapping into my heart and allowing my soul to speak, acknowledging my own beauty, as well as nature’s beauty, which all of us, human beings, are also an expression of.
Last time you’ve heard about our robust research team and their work. Today, I’m here with Swetha, an environmental sciences student, who expressed that through her work with weMORI she realized something quite surprising and fascinating.
“By interacting with organisations from various countries, we get to know about the dynamics of the regions. The deforestation situation and the necessary approach vary with differing climatic, social, cultural, and political circumstances. In a few areas with the active commitment of government and other stakeholders, the deforestation rate is relatively low, unlike other regions with extremely conspicuous rates.
Although the regions and countries could be spatially close, the situation and measures may drastically vary. Similarly, the organisations are unique in their own way. Some of them may value the lives of people in the surrounding, some the biodiversity out there, some the enormous amount of emissions, and some the necessary advocacy activities.
But at the end of the day, all want to protect nature in the path that aligns with the region's dynamics and vision.
These differences and similarities simply surprise me!”
In the coming newsletters, you’ll hear more from our awesome team members!
AROUND THE WORLD 🌏
ART OF THE TWILIGHT ZONE
We continue to be wowed with amazing natural finds even now. A rare and beautiful coral reef has been discovered near Tahiti in what is referred to as the ocean’s twilight zone. The reef is located at a depth of more than 30 meters. It is reportedly one of the largest coral reefs in the world. These beautiful rose-like corals measure up to two meters in diameter, and the reef is quite extensive, spanning a width of 30-65 meters (make sure to follow the link below to see the photos of this stunning nature creation).
Finding this reef is important as it could aid in biodiversity and medicinal research.
AGE HAS ITS ADVANTAGES
Growing up many of us are told to respect our elders as they bring so much to the table and add immeasurable value to our lives. The same holds true for trees. Healthy forests are possible with not just tree diversity but also age. Some ancient trees, more than 3,000 years old, are of utmost importance to the survival of forests.
Older and more venerable trees have DNA that makes them able to withstand the forces of nature. They are an important cog in the biodiversity wheel, and efforts should be made to preserve these “old-timers.”
MERRY MARSUPIALS MAY SOON BE NO MORE
Koalas have recently been declared endangered in eastern Australia, as we’ve witnessed dwindling in their numbers. The marsupials’ status change from vulnerable to endangered comes from a few key factors, with climate change being one of those factors. Others include deforestation, urbanization, drought, and wildfires, which ultimately lead to climate change. Our furry, cute koalas may be the latest to suffer as a result of our doings. Let’s think about what we can do to create the change we want. Because let’s face it, koalas are not only important to biodiversity and one of the symbols of Australia; they bring joy to many simply by looking at them.
There you have it, dear friends!
There is so much more I wanted to share with you, but to not make it into a book, that is it for now!
Thank you all who continue reaching out to us with words of encouragement and what you enjoy about the newsletter. We love hearing from you!
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Thank you, always!
Wishing you a day full of experiences that fill your heart with love and awe.