“With your vision you see me sitting on a rock, but I am sitting on the body of my ancestor. The earth, his body, and my body are identical.” –Aboriginal Elder
PUBLISHED: THE HILL: Changing America by Cyril Christo, Opinion Contributor April 27, 2020
The country’s stunning biodiversity and cultural history are under threat.
Only a few months ago, it was the worst summer Australia had ever experienced. Australia had 46 percent more land burned than the Amazon recently. Some 25.5 million acres. The size of the entire state of Virginia. Some 2,000 homes were lost. Yet the climate denial of its leaders, particularly those embedded with the coal industry, is unconscionable.
Though I cannot even begin to fathom the horror Australians experienced there, spending a few months at the bottom of the world changes one’s perspective of space, wilderness, time and the sheer evolutionary miracles of its fauna like quokkas, koalas, bilbis, wombats and kangaroos. Australia’s parrot and bird life is miraculous. But the greatest colonial experiment in history, once the largest penal colony on Earth just went through hell on Earth.
The fires should serve as a warning for the rest of us. Its leaders languish with coal in their soul for being in denial of climate realities and the greatest Earth changes Australia has experienced since humans first walked onto the continent.
The last Aboriginal nomad of the Simpson desert died in the 1960’s when going walkabout was still possible. To test one’s volition against the infernal heat of the aboriginal sun for Westerners is equivalent to madness. But it was in this central desert that one young Australian wanderer a few years before we arrived for the first time, set off on foot to find himself and God. His girlfriend abandoned him after a few days thinking he had indeed lost his mind. He was found by helicopter one month later severely dehydrated having lost a third of his weight. Supposedly he had found “God.”
The Australian government had just given a portion of the desert to it first inhabitants. But which legislators in the big city ever took the time to fathom the consciousness of its first inhabitants, they who honored the Dreamtime of the Creator beings, whose manifestations were the geologic ridges, plants and animals that mystify the wanderer when he or she first beholds the land and goes beyond the cities of Australia, and discovers that the great spaces, the Bungle Bungles, the rainforests of Queensland, the Barrier Reef — are not just geologic wonders but actual manifestations of primal consciousness itself. Not just biology, not just nature but totemic links to the oldest cosmology on earth.
Photo credit ©Cyril Christo & Marie Wilkinson