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The Beauty and the Tragedy

Recently I was interviewed by Marine Conservation Happy Hour, where the hosts’ insightful comments brought on a conversation where I said,

“Conservation is a dance, an art, where you are in relationship over the long term,

in fact, for a lifetime, with those who are saving you.”

How are we saved by other conservationists, and by the wildlife we work with?

It is because there is too much beauty and tragedy in the world to bear alone.

So much so is this the case that we dedicated our 2019 Annual Report to this theme.

I wonder if, wherever you are in these extraordinary times, you have days where the loss, confusion, and pain seem too much to bear? There is so much we have to learn, so much work to do, and so little time in which to do it. Just about when I think I need to quit doing conservation – either for the hour, the day, or permanently – because it seems so futile, so impossible, I am struck with awe by those with whom One Earth Conservation works. Beauty sweeps me away, revives me, and saves me.

In One Earth Conservation’s Nurture Nature activities, we see such earnest intention of the participants to see beauty, in themselves and in life around them. It’s heart-warming work and I invite you to get a sense of this from our Annual Report. From this document, you might also become more aware of the tragedy and the loss involved in parrot conservation, and of our work at home and regarding climate change. Parrots are increasingly endangered every year, and the reports of loss of forest habitat in the Americas and other countries, seems to outpace the re-generational work of conservationists.

Whether you have been a One Earth Team member all year, or are just getting to know us, by reading this blog you are becoming a witness to the beauty and the tragedy of this world and, as such, are yourself a conservationist. R. S. Rendra writes a poem that depicts how One Earth’s conservationists work in the world:

I hear a voice,

The cry of a wounded animal;

Someone shoots an arrow at the moon

A small bird has fallen from the nest.

People must be awakened,

Witness must be given,

So that life can be guarded.

Rev. Dr. LoraKim Joyner in 1993 shooting an arrow tied to a nylon line over a branch in a nest tree of the yellow-naped amazon parrot. She did this so the tree can be climbed, and the chicks inspected, which ensures that they are better guarded and cared for.

(photo by Michael Schindlinger)

We are here to witness the tragedy and the loss of beauty, so that life can be

preserved. Perhaps in some ways One Earth is just shooting an arrow at the moon,

reaching way beyond our capacity to impact meaningful long-lasting change. We know, however, that at least for now, it matters what we do every day, for we are putting one small bird back into her nest where she belongs and keeping one child from hitting the refugee or migrant trail in search of stability and safety.

Rangers in La Moskitia, Honduras putting red-lored amazon wild chicks back into their nest after a wildfire caused them to jump from their hot tree to the ground.

Thank you for being on one of our teams, in the field, helping with

administration, attending Nurture Nature activities, reading and viewing our materials on the internet, sharing with others to awaken them to the beauty within and without, signing up for a year with our Parrot Conservation Corps, or donating your resources and time in other manners.

Together we are shooting so many arrows at the moon that love will not only land, but flourish, and lives will be saved.

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