Summer waters flowing

Through the forest of morning light

Weaving a sacred journey

Into the solace of the night

 

 

 

Where the forest dances and the rivers sing

To the woods we gather the promise of spring

 

On faraway trails beneath the trees

Of evergreen sweet and earthen breeze

 

So to the woods we gather this promise of spring

Where the songbirds laugh and the rivers sing

 

Deep in the forest

Where stars shine so bright

Not far from the embers

That glow in the night

 

By the sacred fire

We gather to learn

What fools never fathom

The wisest will yearn

 

But speak not a word

For words would not do

The earth beckons softly

Her silence is true

 

Did you know that in 1217 English royalty established the Charter of the Forest which, among other things, instituted the right of access to lands and forests, thus acknowledging the forests as important natural resources which belonged to the many and not just a privileged few?  And this most basic of concepts had endured throughout the centuries for very logical and sensible reasons.  Since it was understood that the forests and surrounding lands provided the means for living and survival, sustained attention to the needs of the environment was seen as essential to the health and welfare of the population.  In our role as stewards, people could use, share and enjoy the woods to nourish their daily life.

If you’ve ever strolled through your local park or played softball on your city’s ‘commons’ you’ve benefited from this legacy and its intent to protect green areas, even within the core of modern urban sprawl, for the mutual benefit of all.

But the lessons perhaps begrudgingly learned by English Lords over seven hundred years ago are today lost in what could be described as this political generations’ ongoing contempt for ecological sustainability.  The forests are not seen as intrinsic to our survival, they are viewed as an impediment to the ever expanding pathologies of modern capitalism.

What accounts for this paradigm shift?  While King Henry understood the value of a shared and sustainable ecosystem, the one thing he didn’t have to endure, that his contemporary political counterparts must, are the mighty corporate lobbyists.  Given that in today’s world political will is escorted through the corridors of power by those with the most money, it’s the corporations that dictate policy, superseding all other considerations.  The business of government is now just that, a business.

I think it’s worth reminding ourselves that unlike the forests, economic systems are not natural entities, they are systems we’ve created.  We invented them to serve our needs, not the other way around.  If the argument is that our economic survival depends upon the erosion and inevitable destruction of the same environment we all depend on for our physical survival here in the real world, then we’ve lost the plot.

Meanwhile the Charter of the Forest and its spirit wither from neglect and indifference, a situation the government and their corporate patrons in a sane world would scramble to reverse, before the predictable and self-inflicting consequences of these policies start redefining their own myopic notions of ‘the bottom line’.

 

After the rain

On a summers’ day

We whisper with nature

What words can’t say

 

Her wisdom is silence

If we listen in kind

The path is before us

Her mysteries to find

 

Wings of autumn upon the trail

Wither gently beneath the trees

As silence beckons beyond the veil

Softly dancing on the breeze