By Linda Thyer
We have heard many times that we are in a climate and ecological crisis. When the lakes and rivers are running dry, when the forests are burning and the plains are flooding, when storms are destroying homes and the lands around the world, we know we are in a crisis. Mother Earth is trying to tell us in no uncertain terms that we must change our ways.
But we are also in a crisis of ethos. When we value individual material wealth over our collective wellbeing, and when our habits and behaviours place corporate wealth over the health and wellbeing of all the living and non-living beings of this planet, we are in a crisis of ethos. When we value fossil fuels over the streams and creeks, and the salmon that swim in them, we are in a crisis of the spirit. When we value pipelines over the trees and the hummingbirds, this is a crisis of the spirit.
And in a crisis of ethos and of the spirit, our health and wellbeing suffers. In this crisis of the spirit, when our spiritual health is poor, our physical and mental health suffers. Our health as humans depends on the health and wellbeing of all life on Earth. We are all connected, we are all one. All life on this planet is one, we are not greater than, or separate from, any other beings. When we destroy the streams that are the home to the spawning and young salmon, we are destroying our own homes. And when our planet’s health falters, our health falters as well.
We are seeing the impacts on human health. We have seen the deaths, injuries and traumas of the extreme weather events, caused by the fossil fuels that TMX carries. On top of that, we are seeing all sorts of diseases affecting all systems in our bodies related to the polluted air, water and soil.
So as we address the climate and ecological crises, we must also address the crisis of ethos and spirit that our society faces. If we are to allow the Earth to heal, we must also heal our society’s ways. We can look to the traditional practises of Indigenous peoples of these lands for the remedies, those who have lived in harmony with all the beings of these lands for millennia. When we listen to the stories and traditional knowledge of the Original People of these lands, they tell us of the importance of connection to the land and all that it holds, and that the survival of the salmon, is also our survival.
As we protest this pipeline project and work to protect beautiful Stoney Creek, the salmon and the surrounding trees, birds and insects, we are opening our hearts and our minds to all of the people and beings of the lands. We are connecting with our mother Earth again. and recognizing the wonderful gifts she provide us. As we work towards a safer and healthier planet, we are working towards our own safety, health and wellbeing.
As we help heal Mother Nature, we are also healing ourselves.