Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Nature Has Rights: La Naturaleza Tiene Derechos

907846984_ec8b0702ba_5 Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.
When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

- Rumi (Sufi Poet)

Ecuadorsunsetb_3 On Sunday September 28th Ecuador passed a new constitution, becoming the first country in the world to grant rights to nature.

In the First Article of this Constitution: La Naturaleza o Pachamama, donde se reproduce y se realiza la vida, tiene derecho a existir, perdurar, manetener, y regenera sus ciclos vitales, su estructura, funciones y procesesos evolutivos.

Nature has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution.

Earthflag1514web_3 I nearly wept while reading this vision, put forth by a people, proclaiming that they are one community of mixed species, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. How glorious it might be if in this country that pledges allegiance to a flag, instead we raised our hands to the skies, covenanting with all of life as we seek freedom for all beings. When ever I am present and the people among me recite the Pledge of Allegiance or sing the national anthem, I do look to the skies and to the oceans, over soccer fields, over head in courtrooms, and into the depths of the seas out of which we emerged, swearing before all of life, I belong, you belong, all gods’ critters belong!

I thank the people of Ecuador for their vision, for it seems as if my soul may lie down at last in peace, beyond words, beyond the despair of our species’ fumbling and bumbling, and speak no more, or at least for awhile while I rest in the beauty of wild things.

The Peace of Wild Things

78983755_e1livae0__mg_6216cap1_4 When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
Milky_way_5 of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

— Wendell Berry

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