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Mother Nature, Father Time

She has no heart, no idea of harm or benefit. She is the most powerful, the most destructive force on Earth. The tsunami, the hurricanes, the earthquakes of this past year are, for her, nothing new, merely further violence in an endless drama.

But she also is Earth’s consummate artist. From the evanescence of sunlit dew on a spider’s web to the awesome cathedrals of Denali and Everest, from the hundred hues and textures of spring unfolding across open land to the deep but fleeting stare of a lone wolf, she gives us transcendent beauty in uncountable ways, each with the touch of a goddess.

We call her Mother Nature. She remains forever savage and inspiring, fearsome and delightful. But is there a message in her madness, in her duality? Certainly it challenges us to pay attention, to see, and to consider. We never know what is next, what she will provide or deny. Yet how can we best absorb her beauty, be inspired by her finer moments? How can we best minimize the harm of her worst of times?

Is this discovery, in fact, a job for each of us as individuals? Or one for our leaders and our governments? Or our religions? Or our artists? And how does it inform our random acts and our greatest sacrifices? Will we consume our one blink of life with small thinking, as Father Time watches, as bloodless as his mate? Or will we yet find in the fresh, necessary breezes of our shared humanity that we are, indeed, one world, one community, and we must do a much stronger job of looking out for each other, no matter what Mother Nature might throw at us next.

         – Tony Balis    (November 2005)

 
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