An excerpt from ‘The Hidden Life Of Trees’, by Peter Wohlleben:
“I want to tell you the story of Yellowstone National Park in the United States to show just how vital undisturbed forests and woodlands are to the future of our planet and how our appreciation for trees affects the way we interact with the world around us.
It all started with the wolves. Wolves first disappeared from Yellowstone, the world’s first national park in the 1920s. When they left, the entire ecosystem changed. Elk herds in the park increased in number and began to make quite a meal of the aspens, willows and cottonwoods, that lined the streams. Vegetation declined and animals that depended on trees left.
The wolves were absent for seventy years. When they returned, the elks’ languorous browsing days were over. As the wolf packs kept the herds on the move, browsing diminished and the trees sprang back. The roots of the cottonwoods and willows once again stabilized stream banks and slowed the flow of water. This, in turn, created space for animals such as beavers to return. These industrious builders could now find the materials they needed to construct their lodges and raise their families. The animals that depended on the riparian meadows came back, as well. The wolves turned out to be better stewards of the land than people, creating conditions that allowed the trees to grow and exert their influence on the landscape.
My hope is that the wolves’ stewardship of natural processes in Yellowstone will help people appreciate the complex ways that trees interact with their environment, how our interactions with forests affect their success, and the role forests play in making our world the kind of place where we want to live. Apart from that, forests hide wonders that we are only just beginning to explore. I invite you to enter my world.”
As we take one more positive step into a brand new year, let us clad ourselves in a fresh take, a new perspective and deep gratitude. The past few years have brought deep introspection and personal awareness. We cannot continue to live unaware of the impact our choices have on our environment. Conscious choices and decisions have to be made with crystal-clear understanding of how much our planet is in decline in terms of every natural resource.
Natural resources are not extraneous to our existence. In fact, they are the pillars upon which rests the future of mankind. The very air we breathe and the water we drink is at stake here. Just like the interconnectedness of the forests and the animal kingdom, we are also linked and interconnected to each other and the ecosystem of our planet. There’s one ecosystem in which we are interlinked on a physical level and then there is the other, stronger connect that we have on an energy/ vibrational level. I speak about our connections through prayers.
I am tremendously blessed to have a circle of light around me that manifests its protective and healing energies in the form of prayers. Gratitude is a small word to describe all those many, many times when I have received the support of someone else’s prayers. My friends have done Jal Abhishek, Namaz, Guru Ashtakaam, Vishnu Sahasranaam, Hanuman Chalisa, lit a diya or a candle, even praying near a holy tree and myriad other prayers for the wellbeing of my family and I. The healing energies of their prayers have pulled me out of so many challenges.
Sometimes, it’s not the hand that lights the lamp but the hand that cups around it to protect the flame from extinguishing, which is more important. How many times have you cupped your hands to protect someone else’s flame?
Let us put together our light and visit our Fire Temples and pray with devotional fervour and gratitude for all the blessings which we have received. Indeed, our prayers are a mighty force of nature and this only increases the more it is spread, like happiness! It is an undisputed fact that good health is the most prized possession which you can never take for granted.
I leave you with this short prayer, hoping that you will do this prayer for the health of someone you know and care about. It is, the Greatest Gift of All – Navroze Mubarak!