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Put out the fires with tears

By Stephen Routledge

I cry at the lack of understanding there is for our natural world.

The millions of Australians living in our cities; this detachment from country.

Fear of the burning bush, fear of being alone, fear of being out of touch with the chat, fear of loosing one’s image, fear of fear itself.

I fear our country is being broken, shattered, destroyed by entrenched egos fearful of the unknown.

Certain of their un-certainties and beliefs not wanting the system to change, fighting, selfishly blindly and greedily for their rights.

I have just heard and seen three Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos drift passed the fire tower where I work, floating in from the direction of the burning Mount Buffalo.

Fearless of the future we have created for them.

Their calls so clear, reverberating through the bush, a harbinger of rain.

This beautiful sound turns a moment in the day into a joy, full of hope and expectation for people to do what is right for our natural world.

Do they care beyond the house or the car repayments?

Or a differing thought to what they read in some of our national papers, which are firmly fixed on the economy, with the environment mentioned as a place beyond our civic responsibility?

Has the comfort of our own homes and aspirations for a safe life desensitised and estranged us from our natural world?

I challenge anyone to come and sit under a tree here for a day, without a phone, a radio or any book or magazine and listen for a whole day, clear their heads of the constant chattering in their brains, like a tin can of monkeys.

Can we leave the perfume of desire, sink out of sight, and bring forward our love of country, beyond profit, to dominate our reasoning?

Would that turn our world around? Or will selfishness always prevail over altruism until there is no natural world left, to experience, to immerse ourselves and our children and grandchildren within?

Perhaps we should put a price on birdsong, and have an index that is broadcast every morning at sparrow’s fart?

I am still crying and would love the world to cry with me to put all of these fires out with tears.

Mt Buffalo fires in the distance
Photo: Mt Buffalo fires seen from the fire tower where Stephen Routledge works