This is a story Nikki and I co-wrote and we performed with Dan and others for our Wangat Lodge Sustainability Day. It's a good one to get the kids out and about... and as I watched the ABC special on Climate change I couldn't help but see the connections, and the need for our global imagination to remember the spirits of the Earth, and the magic they bring...
Once upon a time, there lived 3 spirits…
One was the spirit of the water.
She was a beautiful, gentle natured spirit... for the most part! She flowed down the rivers into the ocean where it tossed and turned in the waves, where she evaporated back into the sky, gathered together to have a party and then fell back to the ground as rain. The spirit of water nourished the earth and was always happy to give life to the land (watering the plants), as long as it was used wisely…
Another spirit was the spirit of the trees.
The trees started as a teeny tiny seed and as the sun shone and the rain fell they slowly
grew into a tree – sometimes a small tree – sometimes a gi-normous tree. As they grew they
breathed in carbon dioxide and breathed out oxygen... providing fresh air for the entire Earth… as long as there were enough of them around...
Then there was the spirit of the animals – they breathed in the oxygen made by the trees,
drank the water made by the water spirit, and often liked to move …and dance.... as long as there was a space safe to do so…
One day when the three spirits where playing they saw something that worried them, it
was an army of… an army of…. An army of zombies!
All of these zombies had glazed over square eyes. They noticed nothing of what was around
them (zombies walk forward staring aimlessly into space). Water was an endless spring that
came out if a tap… and went away somewhere to be sorted out (flush water away). Trees were best used for carrying sugary drinks and hamburgers, printing adverts for things nobody really needed, and nice, white bleached loo roll for wiping their bums .
And animals were things that lived in books, and TV shows about places far away, that might
not even really exist. Oh dearie me.
“Well this just would not do!” thought the spirits. Time to shake things up a bit (the 3 lead
spirits come forward).
First, they found the pipe line that brought all the water to town, and blocked it off. The
zombies didn't know what to do, they drank all the water in the shops… but that soon ran out.
Next they turned off all the machines that cut down forests… they couldn’t make paper…
when the zombies had nothing to wipe their bums with they started to panic…
Finally the animal spirits stopped their work. The bees stopped pollinating the flowers. No
flowers, no fruit, no food, no new seeds… The cows stopped giving milk, no more
milkshakes, cheese and believe it or not… no more chocolate!!! They even chewed through
the power lines and.. dun dun duhhh… the internet cables. That was the last straw.
The zombies started to revolt. The younger ones realised something must be done… they
packed their adventure packs, put down their square screen real world mediating interface
devices (aka iPads), rubbed their eyes, used up the last of their loo roll… took a deep
breath… and set off to get to the bottom of it all...
And so the child in all of us is invited out to play with the spirits, enjoy and understand that sacred connection. And maybe even take a bush poo.