Image: Geminids Meteor Shower in northern hemisphere, Asim Patel, CC:BY:SA
did anyone see the meteor shower last night? the Geminid Shower happens every December, when our planet passes through the trail of asteroid "3200 Phaethon" which is classified by NASA as an extinct comet. i meant to stay up for its peak (1-2am in adelaide) but fell asleep. randomly woke up at 3.45 and dashed outside... just in time to catch a few sky sparkles from the back porch. so stunning! i'm staying in semaphore at the moment, so ran down to the beach to see if that view was any better, but lights from the pier and cloud cover limited access to whatever remnants there may have been.
the meteors i did see were just incredible. some were shooting-star-like, individual hot pinpricks dashing across the sky in all directions before burning out. others were giant gleaming rocks, hot coals burning so much bigger and brighter and moving everso slowly compared to their seemingly static milky way backdrop. others were clusters of movement, like shining fighter planes flying in formation (only less deadly).
it was pretty spectacular to feel our planet passing through a solar system that sits ever present, yet mostly invisible to the human eye.
as i lay on the beach i dug my hands down into the sand, connecting above and below, within and without. yes i know i'm an old hippy, but i've never seen meteors before. i couldn't help but be reminded -yet again- that we don't know why we exist on this planet, that there is so much we don't -can't- understand; the ocean, the power of nature, our own minds and bodies. i can't even begin to imagine how these skies would have seemed to our ancestors, to first nations peoples, what magical insights they would have brought ...yeah, wow.
so why the fuck are we letting a handful of greedy morons destroy it all?! why the fuck have we LET OURSELVES end up on this commuterbelt feedback loop to hell?
this is one mofo special rock that we live on. let's take care of it, eh? the oceans, rivers and lakes. the forests, deserts and mountains. and every single last human, animal and plant that has managed, against all odds, to stay alive this far. we need all of it. and we need to stand together: one planet against a handful of evil beings - surely the odds have to be in our favour??
we've been given a gift in life, one you can't buy at a store. and this gift is extra special - you can give it away, keep it for yourself, AND set it free, all at the same time! how cool is that?!
so as you dash around scrabbling for the last xmas pressies, preparing feasts for family and friends, can i recommend that you take a moment's pause in all that crazy? can i ask that you go and stick your hands in the soil (or in the sand, in the river, anywhere), and just take a moment to reflect on all that we've got to be grateful for in this life. this big rock that somehow manages to sustain us despite all the crap we throw at it.
we so often forget that we humans are fragile; we grit our teeth, swallow our sorrow, and carry on regardless like dutiful little programmed cogs in the greedmachine. this globe of ours is fragile too. give it a hug, tell it you love it, tell it you're sorry for all the bullshit, tell it that it matters and you're equally angry that the demands of a bullyboy few have somehow outweighed everyone else's entire reason for existing. tell it you hear its pain and you feel the same.
then allow yourself to grieve, recognise the fear and pain and anger you share with so many others. because the only way we can begin to heal ourselves and the wounds we have inflicted on nature -and therefore on ourselves- is through accepting the damage that exists and committing to righting those wrongs. the battle for a better world has both never ended and is only just beginning. shit's gonna get worse before it gets better. but it WILL get better.
however you celebrate this season, and whomever you share it with, remember that there's one more seat around the table. here's to old ma nature, long may she reign x