I Forgot To Say!
After my last post, ‘Man’s Relationship With Nature’, I was thinking about my relationship, our relationship with Nature. I think there are a couple of things that I feel that I left out or didn’t make particularly clear.
I wasn’t intending to write a follow up post about this, I was actually going to leave it be and possibly come back to it in the future, but I was flicking through a book called ‘Grandfather’ by Tom Brown Jr. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this book before, but it’s a really good read. The book is a number of shorts about Grandfather’s life, Grandfather aka Stalking Wolf was one of the last Native Apache Shaman, the stories are linked together with Grandfather’s teachings of Tom Brown who was a pupil of his for many years.
Coincidence? I Don’t Think So!
Anyway, I was flicking through the book looking for something completely different and I came across a passage where Grandfather is learning the ways of Nature’s Caretaker, and there was a particular passage that highlighted exactly what I was talking about and so felt compelled to share it with you. But before I get to the passage there is something else that I felt I should have stressed in the last post.
Having read through ‘Man’s Relationship With Nature’ again it almost sounded as though I was only talking about being Nature’s Caretakers when we take something that we need. The duty of humanity is far more than that, when it comes to being one Nature’s Caretakers. I know this sounds a little authoritarian but Nature provides for us in so many ways and we take so much that if we as a global community want to survive then we have to make Nature strong and to do that we must always be Nature’s Caretakers.
We must be prepared to give back. So this got me thinking about how do we become fulltime Nature’s Caretakers? Unfortunately modern society doesn’t provide us with the time or the space that many of our indigenous ancestors had to be able to wander the woods to help and heal here and there.
That doesn’t mean that we can’t to our bit as one of Nature’s Caretakers, it doesn’t have to involve weeks in the woods; picking up any litter that you see when you walk around, that’s one of a Caretakers jobs! And a job ‘well done’. I have a friend, Mel, who will dig up newly spouted trees, before their roots get established; (it’s only a handful of dirt) when she sees them on the edge of a path and she moves them to a spot where they will grow strong, if left on the edge of the path they will be cut down by the mowers. That’s other Caretaker job.
There are so many way that we can do our bit to tend to Nature to be one of Nature’s Caretakers.
Well that is more or less, more actually, than I missed out of my last post, here is the passage from ‘Grandfather’ by Tom Brown Jr. I believe the book is still available from Amazon.
From ‘Grandfather’ by Tom Brown Jr.
The difference in the two forests was quite startling to Grandfather. He could not understand why one forest was so healthy and the other so sick. After all the two forests where only separated by a thin ribbon of water. There was no evidence that Grandfather could see that caused this remarkable contrast. Coyote Thunder [Grandfather’s grandfather] said nothing but continued up the stream’s edge. The further up they went, the more dramatically different the forests appeared. The sick forest looked now as if it was barely able to survive, while the other looked stronger and healthy the further he went. The healthy forest showed more evidence of animal tracks and the plants and trees had much fruit. Still, Grandfather could detect nothing on the landscape that would make one forest healthy and the other so sick and tangled. There was no sign of anything out of the ordinary in either forest.
Finally Coyote Thunder motioned to Grandfather to sit down. Coyote Thunder said nothing to Grandfather at first, but just sat and looked around with a sense of satisfaction on his face. Finally, he began the story of the forest. He told Grandfather that this was the place that he used to come to collect saplings for his bows and arrows. He had used this area many times in his youth, but now only came here to honour the forest. Grandfather looked around in utter amazement. Coyote Thunder had indeed helped this forest grow stronger than the other forest across the stream. Everything seemed perfect here, everything healthy. Grandfather told Coyote Thunder that it was only of the most perfect forests that he had ever seen. Coyote Thunder only smiled and said that it was one of many forests that he had helped.
Coyote Thunder then began to explain to Grandfather Man’s purpose on the earth. He said, “Man is a tool of the Creator and creation. Man can help nature do what would otherwise take many years. Man belongs to the earth and the earth belongs to man. It is not just taking from the earth and giving nothing in return. As you see, the earth, this forest, once gave to me so I in return helped it to grow stronger. Man has an important part to play in the survival of creation, for it is through man that nature can grow strong and healthy. Do not the winds and storms trim the trees; do not animals eat the plants and other animals? Do the plant people not feed on the sunshine, the soils, and the waters of the earth? We all need each other to survive. But there must be balance and harmony with man and nature. The forest here shows such a balance; it is the perfection of man’s purpose.”