ecology. (n.) 1873, ecology, “branch of science dealing with the relationship of living things to their environments”
Over the last 10 years we have seen an intensive push in cultural consciousness towards a greater awareness of how all living matter interacts and forms relationship. We are beginning to realise that everything is connected and somewhat dependant on each other. Humans are not a higher life force that is seperate from their surroundings somehow removed from a reasonable and responsible guardianship, that reflects mutual submission and servitude.
Because of the dualistic mindset of western rationalism we have become internally bifurcated which has created a think one way and act another mentality.
We have misinterpreted the original ancient mandate of guardianship, ‘be fruitful and multiply’ as a dominionistic charge that gives us free reign. Our inability to appropriate the sacred call to bond with our environment has minimised natures divine materialisation.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.” - Genesis 1
As we continue to justify our heinous acts of cruelty toward our habitat, our inept behavioural recidivism fuels a kind of naive impunity that eventually calls us to account, forcing us to face the music so to speak.
It has now become apparent that nature is demanding a conversation and a ‘please explain.’ The realities of global warming, pollution, and species extinction to name just a few are confronting our sensibilities and asking us to consider how future generations will have to live with the consequences our decisions.
The very ground that we were formed from, whose groans are becoming louder and louder, is pushing back and asking humanity to reunite around some common goals of sustainability.
‘The heavens declare the glory of God...' -Psalm 19
On June 15th in Aotearoa (NZ) we celebrate the beginning of ‘Matariki’ the Māori name for the cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. It rises in mid-winter and for many Māori, it heralds the start of a new year. Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). Traditionally, it was a time for remembering the dead, and celebrating new life.
Matariki is centred around the lunar calendar which follows the monthly cycles of the moon’s phases. Ironically, the word ‘lunatic’ has its roots in the word lunar, a reminder to us that we need to take stock of our maddening actions and listen again to the natural rhythms of grace that nature makes available to us, especially if we are to reconnect and celebrate the mutuality that it asks of us.
'Creation is the great appearing of God, a constant act of remembrance on behalf of the sacred'
This new season is an invitation to accept ‘newness’ into our lives and rediscover the benefits of this sacred appearance. As the stars of the night sky align to remind us of the divine overview we can open our eyes and hearts to see afresh and appreciate all that we have been given, and then maybe we will start to treat the world we live in with the respect she deserves. Mother earth's gravity of concern holds us close, keeping us firmly anchored to the reality that is before us.
Take a moment today to prepare yourself for the new year ahead by looking up and admiring what Rangi, sky father is saying so that we might appreciate Papatūānuku, earth mother.