The following is an excerpt from We Are The ARK by Mary Reynolds.
We live in a magical world filled with miraculous and unbelievable creatures of every possible shape, size, and colour. Some of them are blatantly and ridiculously beautiful—or just plain ridiculous. Have you ever seen a Venezuelan poodle moth? Or the dance of a superb bird of paradise? Or a narwhal? Seriously, mind-blowing life forms are everywhere. If you look microscopically at the tiny kingdom creatures, they are even more amazing.
Everything you can possibly imagine already exists on this planet we call home. These weird and wonderful creatures must become our reason for being here, to mind them, to provide for them so that they might thrive. We are hopelessly and helplessly dependent on their fragile and interdependent existence.
We are just reflections of the earth; we mirror each other. It is no coincidence that our inner energy is often muted and depressed. All the wild places and wild sanctuaries are being destroyed, and we are in turn becoming bland and empty. But our true natures are wild and magical and are still lingering there beneath the skin, waiting for us to remember.
What a potent word magic is. That fizzy, awesome feeling, something children have in abundance and some of us still remember. Magic dies the moment we “grow up” and harden our hearts. It leaves us as soon as we forget that the world is full of mystery and layers of enchantment, seen and unseen. But it returns to us as soon as we restore our connection to the earth and to an awareness of our shared kin.
Magic is eagerly waiting to creep back into your heart as soon as you can crack it open wide enough for your wild nature to return.
Once you blend back into the web of life and remember your body is made from the earth and her atmosphere, that all living things that you share this life with are extensions of your own health and happiness, then you step into the flow of magic that connects everything. The sensitivity that returns by regaining the consciousness of those connections reawakens your magical bond with the earth. You can feel the character of each plant, its intention and willingness (or not) to help us. You can sense the malleability of the world, how every thought we have and action we take is a building block for the future we want to create.
We have been living under a spell of our own making. Our imagination, thoughts, emotions, and focus make up our vision, and our vision creates our future lives. Right now, the only visions of the future we are presented with through the media are dystopian images of a dead or dying planet. It’s time to imagine and build a beautiful, gentle future. A new vision that allows us to have a future. A restored sense of community, abundance, and peace. A future where we all strive together to support the earth and her life forms to live in health, so that we may continue to live here among them.
It’s time to go to work to save the sovereignty of our land, our water, our air, and all the creatures we share this planet with. The earth has become a barren green, brown, and scorched desert, but we can be the ones to create the island oases in this desert. These oases will be the seeding grounds for our new story. They will be sanctuaries for as many creatures as we can fit into them, safe havens for the magic and abundance in the natural world. They will become the ark for the flood of extinction that is already upon us. We are the last frontier and the last generation with enough time left to save this planet, by the skin of our teeth.
One person can effect such big change in this world, simply by inspiring change all around them.
One person, one patch of land, one decision at a time.
Let’s dream up that beautiful world we know exists. Each of us is powerful as an individual, but together we are invincible. We have a supportive network here that can counteract the dystopian future we are being offered. Positive imaginings with strong feelings of joy and gratitude attached to them are much more powerful than those heart-breaking visions of a future of extinction and broken dreams.
A gentle approach to life is needed. One where everything is slower, where life has meaning and richness again. Where our neighbours are our support, our communities are our strength, and a simple life becomes one worth living. Where locally grown organic, regenerative, and resilient food systems allow us to step out of a system based on terrible cruelty toward sentient beings and let us give vast amounts of land back to nature so that she can restore her health and grant us a future.
It’s time for us human beings to step up and become the weavers of the web of life, to restitch the threads we have broken.
This is a different type of web weaving. It is a web of interconnected life, interconnected magic, and hope.
We are weaving ourselves an ARK.
An Act of Restorative Kindness to the earth.
Mary Reynolds is a reformed internationally acclaimed landscape designer.
The youngest woman in history to win a gold medal for garden design at the Chelsea flower show in 2002, she has since given that all up to be part of the solution to the crisis we are all living through, the climate and biodiversity collapse.
She is the bestselling author of The Garden Awakening, and a motivational speaker and founder of the global movement We Are The ARK.
From We Are The ARK by Mary Reynolds, published by Timber Press (OR). Copyright © 2022 by Mary Reynolds.