Today I came across the below video. Watch it.
I have since seen this is a year old, so I am late to the party, but that doesn’t make it any less powerful to watch. Its message is as true today as it was when it first came out. It will be as true in ten, a hundred, a thousand years.
In the absence of any personal belief of a deity, I have always regarded nature itself as our God, the giver of life and the force that will not be reckoned with, or bargained with... the force that ultimately decides our fate. I am one of those who refers to ‘Mother Nature.’ This, for me, is how I acknowledge it is something greater and wiser than myself – something that we hold true of our mothers no matter our age. It has been here longer than me and is in large part responsible for my very existence... I have nature to thank for my being here, but it would still exist if I did not.
This one-way reliance is stressed upon in the video with the words “When I thrive, you thrive. When I falter, you falter... or worse.” We need only to think of the extreme catastrophe of natural disasters to realise the truth in this.
You know, I often find myself reflecting on this. For all our intellect and our self-appointed power... for all our societies and rules, we have nothing on the power of nature. Truly nothing. Nature does not care if we are rich or poor or male or female or a leader or a follower; it does not discriminate. We can do nothing to stop it wrecking havoc when it so chooses. Look at Hurricane Katrina. Look at the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. Look at the earthquake in Haiti. At home in New Zealand look at the Tarawera eruption or Christchurch Earthquakes.
Only a week ago I watched a documentary on Mount Vesuvius and the eruption that saw the thriving city of Pompeii fall. Weirdly, as often as I have marvelled at the preserved city, the plasters of bodies frozen in a moment some 2,000 years ago, I have rarely reflected on the sheer might of Mother Nature which caused this phenomenon. And eruptions are only one example of what nature can do. Avalanches. Blizzards. Storms. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Floods. Landslides. Wildfires. The list goes on.
Have you ever stood beneath the sky when the heavens have opened? The sheer volume of water suspended above our heads that suddenly falls from the sky; the clap of thunder that sounds like someone cracking a gigantic whip; the sight of forks of electricity appearing from nothing and striking the ground we stand on is a terrifying thing. In these moments, I both love Mother Nature for asserting her power and fear her as the realisation hits me that there is nothing I can do against it when it really comes down to it.
On a recent trip to Sicily, we watched from a hilltop looking down the Med coast as a thunder storm unlike anything I have ever seen rolled towards us. Photo courtesy of Jesse (@jpm.nz on Instagram)
Ultimately though, what I feel towards nature is respect. I think I have always understood and appreciated its dominance over us. I mean really, isn’t it obvious? It can’t be... look at how many of us continue on like we can control it. This video reminds us we cannot.
“How you choose to live each day whether you regard or disregard me doesn’t really matter to me.” Herein lays the beauty of this video, its message so powerful. “Your actions will determine your fate, not mine.”
You only need to look at areas where our own choices, our own destructive way of living has wiped out human existence, to see how nature prevails, and how it always will, no matter how determined we are to kill it. Kill it we have. Kill it we will. Killing it we are as I write these very words – just look at the palm oil plantations we are wiping out Borneo’s rainforests for. But as destructive and heartbreaking as it is to see this murder of nature at our own hands, nature will go on. It will grow back. So long as the sun shines in the sky, it will survive. We need nature. It does not need us. Please share this video if this truth hits you as hard as it did me.