Walking Lightly

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Christmas Eve, I can hear fire crackers going off on the beach. The feasting is about to begin. It’s been raining for days, unseasonal and the punters are not deliriously happy, though I think I am the only one who really is deeply happy protected from the sun by thick rolling layers of cloud. Yep the firecrackers’ cacophony is plummeting to its conclusion as the rain starts again.

Normally on celebratory days at Udekki resort we have dinner on the beach and eat massive amounts of lobster, crabs, clams and fabulous butter vegetables, I better get my arse to the party, but here I am listening to a play list of amazing songs and holed up under my mozzie net.

I’m not antisocial in the normal sense. I can related and enjoy people but I seem to be on the extreme edge of self sufficient. Tex Perkins is howling away along with Antony and the Johnstons, Dead Can Dance and Built to Spill. The music I enjoy is not Trad Jazz or old standards, they are often poetic and lyrically complex rather than simple or run of the mill standards, funny how your taste reflects your soul.

The party was fabulous, tainted by the incessant rain but all told people are on holidays and determined to be happy. And now it is Christmas Day and the rain continues, unseasonal storms of incessant rain, some wind and seemingly endless. If you look at the BBC weather charts Sri Lanka is covered in clouds and continues to be.

A few days ago I went to a nature reserve to see native animals in the wild. A 4:30am start, after a night of mozzie incursions didn’t augur well. A Banshee child in the car, flooding, a mad driver, 2 breakdowns and animals making themselves scarce meant I returned to Udekki really headachy. But who am I to complain at this juncture, the floods here mean people are flooded out, displaced 100,000 of them so far. We are lucky at Udekki we are safe and sound, but I suspect we can expect many more storms as the planet heats up. I have become an advocate for planetary action but feel a little helpless as to what action to take to help. The problem with that is it would be easy to do nothing but gradually an anger is arising in me and I know will lead me to take action. This anger hovers over the love I carry around.

Often I feel helpless and hide away in songs. The artists, musicians, painters visionary scientists who are not afraid to allow themselves to feel the hollow depth of life while living on the surface of themselves are frustrated and some guiding principle of action eludes them. I probably fall into this category. The transformative energy of harnessed anger is probably going to be my salvation and maybe effect a change. I was thinking that when I return to Australia I might see if it’s possible to get shops to stop using plastic bags.

Nearly all our children’s toys are plastic, look around you at the carnage of Christmas, the waste, the breakages… So many of our implements are plastic based, storage jars, furniture, clothes etc. mostly they do not decompose. I sit here thinking through the sweep of history, the agrarian revolution, regarded by some as the beginning of the end, the industrial revolution, the technological revolution. Medical improvements for some, food production changes, not all of them exactly good.

So I ask you good friends, what can we do to walk more gently on this planet? Who do we need to become to act responsibly? What action can we take? And what will we as individuals gain? What will future generations gain? We are after all the cause and the solution all rolled into one, the guardians if you like, Just sayin…

2 thoughts on “Walking Lightly

  1. I’m a recycler from way back and I thought that plastic bags were a thing of the past now in many countries (sadly not here in Singapore where wasting valuable resources is the main game!!)

  2. Say no to plastic. I’m with you my wonderful friend. Start with the majors…. Woolies, Coles, Target. ….xo

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