Hail Gaia

The Presence of Gaia  – As a new dawn approaches Gaia emerges from our sleeping planet. The radiance of her aura lights up the heavens and her ‘presence’ gives confidence to the birds and animals to venture forth, secure in the knowledge that she will protect them. A river of life flows out to all corners of the earth, renewing and restoring. What greater ‘present’ could she give us!

If you were a kid who grew up in India in the 90’s unless you were living under a rock you must have seen at least  one installment of ‘captain planet’. I still distinctly remember the first episode especially the scene of Gaia waking up to a tickle of water on her face due to someone drilling above her abode;  the rest like they say launched an  cartoon show that for weeks kids like me were glued to and fought with others kids in lunch recess over what powers we possessed. Fire power was my favorite. teehee ^_^

The show had completely faded from my memory until today when I came across what is called the Gaia theory : The Gaia hypothesis, also known as Gaia theory or Gaia principle, proposes that all organisms and their inorganic surroundings on Earth are closely integrated to form a single and self-regulating complex system, maintaining the conditions for life in the planet. The scientific investigation of this hypothesis focuses on observing how the biosphere and the evolution of life forms contribute to the stability of global temperature, ocean salinity, oxygen in the atmosphere and other factors of habitability in a preferred homeostasis.

Stop. Read that again. But this time keep aside  your science and logic tinted glasses. When read from a standpoint of common sense seems perfectly believable right?

October 2009. Canadair Regional Jet 700 from Baton Rouge to Atlanta.

After what seemed to be an eternity of taxiing on the tarmac the ATC gave us the go ahead  as a collective cheer went when the plane proceeded to take off. It had just rained and was cloudy and gloomy as hell. Things were made worse by the dinginess of the Canadair Regional Jet (the thing is so tiny; it could be straight out of Enid Blyton’s Noddy. You couldn’t stand up without bumping your head into the roof of the plane!) and a stomach upset caused by too much biryani the previous night. As the plane lift off we cut through the sea of clouds which were in two levels; the dark ones beneath and the Alladin like fluffy cuddly ones above. We were flying over a large green ranch (moistened by the rain earlier) at that moment; past the second layer of clouds we came into plain view of the sun. For the two minutes that this entire scenario lasted I was in heaven.Transfixed to the window taking in the scenery  I had an epiphany of sorts as my whole being welled up, high on the beauty of nature I had just  seen. In fact no picture or words can truly describe that feeling or the sight . It was Mother Nature. Pure and Divine.

The earth does not belong to man. Man belongs to the earth. ~ American Indian Chief Seattle.

September 2010. An epic 8 hour drive from Stanford to Los Angels.

A pit stop in an open field somewhere in the outskirts of Los Angels. I look up at the wide open sky with its gazillion stars. Transfixed to the spot. If an alien spaceship were to beam me up this would be the right  time/spot for them. I stood there amazed and almost tear eyed. Such unparalleled beauty. Bringing back memories of walks along marina beach in Chennai. I remembered my first visit to Birla planetarium in Hyderabad where as I sat on the seat reclining my head the voiceover (me thinks it was Kabir Bedi) in a Godly fashion proclaimed, “Look above what do you see ? Stars. Brilliant stars. These stars have always been there but the pollution in the city renders them invisible to the naked eye…”  The voiceover was right. I was away from the trappings of the city when nature revealed itself to me.

We need not look father beyond our porch today to see what havoc we  humans as a collective race have wrecked on Gaia. This is not a radical call to arms but a gentle reminder to recycle and be mindful of our limited resources. For we would want our future generations to see the natural sights we have been privileged with front row tickets to . Preserve and Conserve.

Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.  ~Kahlil Gibran

Suggested reads :

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson. (This book is widely credited with helping launch the environmental movement.)

Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

I will leave you with this viral hit of ‘The Girl Who Silenced the World for 6 Minutes’

                                                              Severn Cullis-Suzuki at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro 1992