Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Wave of Change

Humans love their metaphors and symbols and because I’m human I will agree with this statement.

In the early 90’s I began searching for an understanding about how humanity grew to be where it is today. We haven’t always lived with factories, cars, electronics and plastics. We haven’t always lived with environmental issues such as desertification, a thinning ozone layer, warming ocean currents and piles of garbage that need lights perched on top to warn aircraft of their existence.

I was introduced to a book entitled ‘The Third Wave: Future Shock’. This book takes the reader on a journey to view humanities changing history from our birth, through many milleniums, ending with our present situation. A ‘wave’ refers to the moments of massive civilization changes.

During the first wave of humanities existence we were hunters and gatherers. We were nomadic, moving with migrating animal herds, eating fruits and vegetation that grew along our travel routes. We had simple tools and weapons.

After many hundreds of thousands of years humans began to create more complex tools. We became agriculturalists, taming our landscapes with farm fields and orchards. We began to build communities and marketplaces. We developed a formatted language with text symbols and hieroglyphs. We developed a sense of wonder towards our world and created gods and mythology. This way of living began before the end of the last ice age - in areas situated near the equator – lasting for over 12 thousand years.

About 3 hundred years ago, a third wave of evolution swept over the Earth. It was named the Industrial Revolution. Many people envisioned a future Utopia gracing the Earth, with an end to poverty and a beginning of a better life for all humans. Unfortunately, this vision became lost as stronger forms of greed, hatred and power dominated throughout the ruling structures of our societies.

These last 3 hundred years have changed the world and societies so completely that now we are facing challenges to our very survival on this planet. This has me concerned, greatly, and as I move through my life I find no ambition greater than to inspire everyone to realize that a most significant change is needed if life is to continue on the Earth.

I’ve dedicated many previous blogs to explain how our societies have destroyed ecosystems and the environmental integrities that hold this ‘Web of Life’ together, so I won’t repeat myself here, today.

Today, I just want to share a simple photograph that I took in my garden a few weeks ago and talk about what this photo means to me…

As I stumble my way through life, I’m always looking for symbols of inspiration. Things that fill me with awe as I contemplate the Earth’s mysteries. Things that fill me with hope to realize that humanity will overcome its present dilemmas so that our environments can be healed so that future generations won’t be burdened with the consequences of all of our present day actions.

I’m reminded of the metaphor that speaks about global change that comes in the form of waves. This photo is a clear symbol for that metaphor.

To the right side of this massive cloud wave we see small wisps of clouds that seem to cut a path to allow the wave to continue. It might be more correct to also think of these wisps of clouds as guides – possibly not cutting a path (for the coming wave will surely dominate whatever lies in its way). These guiding wisps are society’s scientists, artists, musicians and truly enlightened dudes who may be called philosophers.

They are the ones who question society’s conditions, allowing us to think about the ways that we live on the Earth. They are the ones who challenge our governments, speaking up for human rights and animal rights. They are the ones who create documentary films about what goes on behind the scenes in our cosmetic industries and food industries. They inspire the ones who write books that inspire more individuals to become activists for just causes. They might not be the ones who rule our societies but they are the ones who lead the masses within our societies.

The world is poised and ready for change. We can all feel it. It is almost impossible for anyone to deny it. The massive swell of cloud that is following the smaller wisps is this change. The Fourth Wave. A wave of human consciousness that will reestablish its relationship with the Earth and every living thing on it.

As I looked up from my vegetable patch to witness this spectacular site, a warmth crept through me. I recognized this symbol immediately. It seemed to vibrate at the same frequency as my DNA. I felt blessed.

Although it brings me much joy to be able to share this photo and the thoughts that swirled through my brain as I regarded this small instant in time, my main purpose for writing this blog is to inspire you to recognize the Earthly instances that surround and embed themselves into your life. Symbols surround us all and if we were all to become more sensitive to these instances then our collective evolution could blossom more fully, more completely, more gracefully and with a higher survival rate!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

A Rainbow of Colours

It’s been a while since I’ve shared some of my gardening photos and stories on this blog, so I thought I’d do a little catching up, today… only highlighting the best of the best photos for you to enjoy!

I really enjoy taking all of these ‘in progress’ photos of my flower gardens. It allows you to see the story of Nature in simple yet profound ways.

This series of four photos spans almost four months, beginning in March – believe it or not. We had such a warm and dry spring that many flowers started to grow and bloom weeks ahead of schedule.

In the second photo you can see some Daffodils in bloom. They were one of the few spring flowers that survived this constant weather roller coaster. Near the bottom and to the left of this same pic, you’ll see my patch of Tulips – errrrr… I mean their leaves. The warm weather brought them out of the ground much earlier than usual and a sudden cold snap killed the flowers so I didn’t see one bloom this year. The same thing happened to my Allums – in the back garden. These conditions are what caused most apple, cherry and peach farmers in Southern Ontario to loose their crops – quite a blow to the farming industry and to the fruits that should have ended up in my belly.

It’s a good thing that humans have absolutely nothing to do with the world’s changing weather conditions – or I may be a bit worried about our future! Sarcasm, that is.

In the last photo you can just make out the red/pink colours of my Bleeding Hearts.

Here’s a beautiful close-up shot for you to enjoy!

These next four photos begin near the end of June and take us all the way to the beginning of September. Over the last few years, I’ve spent a bit of time learning to plant my gardens so that there is always something in bloom. In the spring this garden fills with many yellow and red flowers. They do their thing and then die as the summer flowers fill in this space more completely. I took the first photo, in this series, on the day when my first Day Lily bloomed!

Over the next many weeks, I was daily delighted with so many brilliant flowers!

In the second photo (above) the orange Day Lilies are reaching the end of their season, but my garden still looks attractive as my Hostas and my ‘Wine’ Lilies are in bloom.

I call them Wine Lilies simply because their colour reminds me of a nice bottle of red wine. I’ve ‘arted’ this photo to add some interesting textures to enhance their already lovely appearance.

In the third photo, you can see what remains of these lilies – browning, dead stalks. These pull easily – for the most part – right out of the ground and I collect them for my autumn fires. I like to use all parts of my garden to help other parts of my garden and this is one of the ways that I do this. My autumn fires happen in my veggie patch and the fires burn away the roots of ‘would-be’ weeds and the ash adds nitrogen to my soil for next year’s crops.

Just behind the Hostas, you can see my small Rose of Charon plant. In this series of photos you can see how the plant – or maybe it would be more correct to call it a bush – gets larger and larger until the fourth photo where it is in bloom.

I fell in love with this plant several years ago and I’m very grateful that one of my neighbours let me snatch several plants from their garden. The flowers are beautiful and they bloom for almost six weeks!

Right beside this plant are my Cardinals – which are in bloom during this same part of the year.

Their flowers are very bright and oh-so delicate. My mom introduced me to this plant and she was right when she told me that hummingbirds are attracted to them. I’m still trying to get a shot of a hummingbird feeding on these flowers… Maybe next year.

When photographing my garden, I don’t just look to my flowers and veggies for inspiration. Sometimes I look up… to the sky!

I also try to teach my son, Devon, to also look up… to Nature! This is a image that I created for this new school year’s Peacebus (yes – Peacebus artwork coming soon!).

When looking for inspiration in any garden it is important to also look down… way down! This small dark spot on my lawn turned out to be a colony of small black ants. I’m not sure where they came from or where they were heading but it was interesting to witness this one-day event as it happened.

This is another interesting insect that made a special appearance in my back garden – and again, I had to look down to find it. It’s hard to get a size perspective from this photo, so I’ll just tell you that this wasp is huge. It’s the largest wasp I’ve ever seen! And the most colourful!!! I wasn’t sure what it’s name is so I named it myself – the Golden Wasp. I posted this picture on Facebook, asking if any of my friends knew what it was and I smiled to learn that I was not far off when I had named it. Its full and true name is the Golden Digger Wasp and from my photo you can see that it is digging. The two images that I’m sharing here, are the best pics that I was able to get – although I took many others. I sat and watched this busy wasp for almost half an hour on this day. I was completely amazed!

My Facebook friends also informed me that its habitat is found in some northern states that hug the Canadian border along the lakes of Southern Ontario. I find it unusual that we share the same habitat and yet I’ve never seen this wasp species before!

Since most great things come in, or happen in threes, I’ll end this gardening tale with this calming photo of a butterfly – the third insect/animal in this story. Since my wife is so focussed on taking photos of Devon – it’s her newest favourite passion – I was surprised to find this photo on the camera, one afternoon when I came home from work.
I told Joanne that I just loved this photo. I love the focus of the foreground with the abstract appearance of the background leaves. I love the angle and density of the butterfly’s wings. I love the contrast of the light and shadows in the background.
As you can see, my garden fills my heart with a lot of love. My main purpose in sharing these images with you is to inspire your own passion for gardening, so that you can also enjoy the wonders of Nature to enjoy the peace and love that surrounds us all… shared with us at no charge!

Thanks planet Earth!!!!