If Ma Nature had a face, what would it look like?
When I was younger and used to ask myself this question — I was a child of the 70s and had a few free (unusual) thinkers hanging about — I used to think she looked something like this:
A combination of fae, spiritual, mythical, pointy-eared, colourful oddness. She’d probably be smiling. She’d have to be linked to flora, fauna and a seventies kaleidoscope of technicolour loveliness. She’d be surrounded by all things flowing and natural.
Mum Nature would be loved by all the plants and animals. She’d imbue sunshine, welcome the showers to dewdrop her face (indeed the faces of all humanity) and she’d sparkle when the first pad of snow would kiss the sleeping earth.
I’d probably conjured this image from the seventies regalia my sisters had around the house and the fact that Mother Nature has been revered in folklore, poetry, song.
But like any mother, Mumsy Nature can turn.
In the last couple of months, cyclones, earthquakes and tsunamis have been cabled into our homes via internet. We sit back and watch Mother Nature yield tempest after tumult after upheaval, grateful that we are on the other side of the globe or far enough away to spectate.
We listen to the experts raise global warming, climate change, environmental meltdown. We hear others talk about hundreds of years of natural disasters, about how recent happenings are no more, or no less, heinous. We even watch satellite imagery of the impending doom, tracking the progress of a cyclone minute by minute as it roars towards a coastline.
Recently, in Australia, much of the country ‘tuned in’ to televised broadcasts or followed the plot of Cyclone Yasi as it headed to our Queensland coast. It was like watching a natural train wreck. You just couldn’t look away …
Yet with all our technology and brain power, Mama Nature can still render us defenseless. In a blink. The flash of a storm, the rise of the sea, the heat of the inner core of our earth — if she says ‘it’s time to pack up your toys and go to bed’, there’s no iPad or ThinkPad or ethernet or mobile cell or weapon of mass destruction that we can use to argue with her.
She’s been wrathful lately, hasn’t she? Japan, Queensland, Christchurch, Madagascar, Bolivia … she’s come into our rooms, decided that there’s something not right, and unleashed. Yes, and this is not the first time in the history of our planet that she’s seemed to go ballistic all at once, but it’s our time.
I’m not preaching appeasement, for how do we placate Mother Nature? I don’t know exactly what this post means, except to ponder what on earth we are doing for the heavens to be opening and the tempests to stir with such violence.
Perhaps she’s tired and cranky? Maybe she wants to be heard above the iPods and the downloads, the tweets and the status updates? Who knows.
The childish image I have of our Mother Nature is fading fast but I wish it would return. I just hope it’s not too late to see her smiling among rainbows, flora and fauna one day in the not too distant future. She’s yelling loud. We can all hear her. Surely?
(photo courtesy of j3 concepts)