The environmentalist, Thomas Berry, sees nature with the eyes and ears of the ancestors. The ancestors were much keener at perceiving the rhythms and undertones of nature and were wise enough to recalibrate their own rhythms with nature—as if listening to a tuning device. Berry writes
Our present Earth is not Earth as it always was and always will be. It is Earth
at a highly developed phase in its continuing emergence. We need to see the
sequence of earthly transformations as so many movements in a musical
composition. In music, the earlier notes are gone when the later notes are
played, but the musical phrase, indeed the entire symphony, needs to be heard
simultaneously. We do not fully understand the opening notes until the later
notes are heard. Each new theme alters the meaning of the earlier themes and
the entire composition. The opening theme resonates throughout all
the later parts of the piece (3).
That may be why Paul Hawken sees this time as a watershed moment in history.
The heating planet is our commons.
It holds us all. To address and reverse
the climate crisis requires connection
and reciprocity. It calls for moving out of
our comfort zones to find a depth
of courage we may never have known.
Try this the next time you are out in nature—the garden, taking a walk on the beach in the mountains—to listen. Take in the sounds, audible and silent, and sense the rhythms that resonate deep within your being. Listen, truly listen …
Hawken, P. Regeneration: Ending the climate crisis in one generation. (NY: Penguin,2021), p. 9.
Bessel van der Kolk What is Trauma?
Berry, Thomas. “The Gaia Hypothesis: Its Religious Implications,” in The Sacred Universe: Earth, Spirituality, and Religion in the Twenty-first Century (NY: Columbia University Press, 2009), pp. 107-108.