This will be a rare occasion, but today, I am compelled to deviate from the focus on Natural Hair to talk about something that is truly impacting me on a deep conscious level. I am seriously concerned about what has happened in the United States in regard to the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The situation is so unfortunate that there are almost no words to describe how daunting this is. I recently viewed a film called Earthlings, which touched me deeply as I explored, once again, our connection with all sentient beings on this earth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NghzqtqP50Y&feature=related. The viewing was timely as I saw the film before the oil spill, as it was handed to me by one of my students, after class, strongly urging me to watch it. I did and now I know why. I have always been a lover of the sea and animals but I believe my level of consciousness was in need of re-awakening because of what was about to happen...the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
The ocean is a place that I go to often, given where I live and my travels throughout the world, to find peace and serenity. It is a life giving space on all levels, from the beings who dwell on it, to the energy we receive from it. Whenever there was turmoil in my life such as in the past, the prolonged illnesses of my mother and then my young brother, who are now deceased, I would go to the ocean and walk along the beach to acquire energy from it on cool days and evenings and swim in it on those hot days when respite could be found no where else except in prayer and amongst family. At other times it has been a place where I have enjoyed the wonderful experience of being on the ocean in boats, cruise ships, snorkeling and beyond, in many places in the world, enjoying it's beauty, it's wake and all that it has to offer, including watching whales play in the water on a beautiful day on a trip designed just to do that...watch the whales play. I stood and stared at the ocean in Sri Lanka, shortly after the Tsunami, marveling at its powers and fearing its intensity.
Today, I mourn for the Gulf, the eleventh largest body of water in the world which is a smaller part of the Atlantic ocean. I mourn for the eleven people killed in the initial explosion; I mourn for the delicate marshes of the Mississippi Delta, and everything that died in it, where oil is now present; I mourn for all of the sea life that has died from the use of harsh, chemical dispersants in an effort to try to break up the oil spill in the Gulf. So far dolphins have been found stranded (12 dead) and 183 sea turtles have been found dead (although some speculate that it is not certain that these deaths are from the oil spill) and oiled birds have also been found. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/21/AR2010052102403.html
The oil is now on its way to Florida, the place that I live, as it has entered the Loop Current. This weekend, I will try and get to the Florida Keys, to see the ocean in all of its pristine beauty and glory before the oil arrives. The Governor of Florida has declared a State of Emergency in South Florida, as a precautionary measure as it is impossible to know the impact that this situation will ultimately have on the area. Nineteen counties in Florida are now under emergency orders. It is my hope and prayer that this oil spill will be stopped to prevent further damage from being done and that clean-up will be quick and effective with efforts to minimize the damage from all that has been done. Some estimates are that since this tragedy occurred, as we are now 30 days into it, 6 million gallons have already spewed into the Gulf. I close wondering how it must feel to be a being and suddenly find yourself in the condition depicted in the pictures below and consequently, I offer the following quotes in the spirit of a N.I.C.E. moment of reflection:
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated"
Mahatma Ghandi, Indian Statesman and Philosopher
"It is not just that animals make the world more scenic or picturesque. The lives of animals are woven into our very being--closer than our breathing and our souls will suffer when they are gone."
Gary Kowalski, Author of The Souls of Animals