April 22, 2020
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my species and the abuse we inflict. The contempt and disregard. The decision that we have a right to dig you up and chop you down, raze you, blaze you, poison your veins. We tunnel into your heart for a thing we hold dearer than life itself – then weep when no one wants our pilfered treasure anymore.
It’s as though we think money is the thing that feeds and shelters and sustains us. We fail to see it is you who gives us a billion dinners sprouted from a billion tiny seeds. It is you who provides the ground on which we build our homes, the air we breathe, the water we drink. In return, we do nothing as our leaders annihilate the very laws enacted to protect your soil, your air, your water.
We think the ivory is worth more than the living being, the coal worth more than the mountain vista.
We speak of our rights, our needs, our fears of a shattered economy – with blind eyes to your demise.
We think we are somehow separate from you. We think we can destroy you – without destroying ourselves.
We stand idly by, handing our children the remnants of their own future.
We ignore the beauty in your every moment – sunrise to sunset, bird wings on a breeze, bee buzz in rosemary bush. We sit inside, staring at pixels, oblivious to every instant of wonder outside.
We are here because you are here. To live and love, eat and drink, dance and study, drive and fly; to suffer pain and loss, disease and death; to endure, even, the isolation of pandemic – everything we are and experience is possible because of you.
And, in fact, you ensure that we are not alone in our isolation. We are here among your billions of insects and creatures that know no bounds. The coyotes yelp at night, the fish still flop in the river. Far away, in places I have visited in safer times, the elephants still shake the ground with their seismic rumbles.
Even the elephants know when to mourn a death.
All around, every day, you give us reasons to treat you better. Reasons to thank you.
All we have to do is look. And think beyond ourselves.