Sometimes the Earth Shows Recovery


I felt this article meant a lot to me, from an acclaimed journalist named Germaine

Greer. She is considered an academic, a theorist and also, a book author. Her

book, “White Beech,” came out in 2013. The book focuses on her work to make

Australia’s rain forest rejuvenate and regrow.

Here is an excerpt,

“Once great wrongs are done, it’s rarely possible to undo them. Earth, the most

exuberant planet known to exist in any galaxy, carries great wounds upon its

lovely face: denuded hills; fertile farmlands being washed into the sea or turned

to dust; treasure-houses of biodiversity annihilated; air, land, and water poisoned.

It seems that nobody knows how to reverse any of it.”

Germaine Greer also mentions hope, in an article titled, “Give the Earth An Inch…”

in the “Smithsonian” and reprinted in April, 2015’s “Readers’ Digest.”

She helps us to realize there are cracks in pavements in cities where seedlings

and weeds forge on. She tells us of horrible tragedies of radioactive leaks,

nuclear explosions and earthquakes, floods and tsunami’s. In the midst of these,

there are flowers. Fields where they seem to not have any kind of use, poppies

appear, as she describes them as, “bringing their promise of resurrection.”

We all would like to see glimmers of Earth’s recovery, trying our best in our own

ways to preserve it for future generations.

Where have you seen life bursting out, when you least expected it?

This may include any signs of nature: plants, animals, water getting clearer, skies

getting cleaner. . .


About reocochran

I am experiencing crazy and hapless adventures in dating that may interest people over fifty. I am now approaching 62 later this year and enjoy taking photographs, incorporating stories or poetry on my blog. I have many old posts which are informative and written like essays. I have several love stories collected from family and friends. Even strangers spill their stories, since I am a grown version of the girl next door. I have been trying to live a healthy lifestyle with better food selections and active hiking and walking. I have written four children's books and illustrated them. They are not published but a battered women's shelter used one about neglect and abuse for their children's program and a 4H group used my "Kissing a Bunny is like saying a Prayer" as a coloring book. Please comment or respond so I may get a chance to know you. Sincerely, Robin

24 responses »

  1. very thought-provoking post, robin. and so true. i am always amazed by a tiny flower or weed popping up through the cracks in a broken sidewalk, in the middle of nowhere and where you least expect it, against all odds, without care or watering, it still survives.

    • Against all odds. This is a great way of describing this incredible ‘miracle,’ Beth. I felt the words I shared were just the ‘tip of the iceberg’ found in Germaine Greer’s book. Thanks for the image you described. hugs!

  2. I look for life bursting everywhere. I make a point of it every day. I was surprised once while walking down a path with my husband looking at all the new types of flora and fauna when my husband told me to *watch out*. I had almost stepped on a snake that crossed our path—I wasn’t expecting that kind of live bursting out.

    • A snake would shock or surprise me, too. I would have been like you, April, looking off at flowers and stuff but not so concentrating on my own path.
      I love the way you say ‘life bursting everywhere’ is what you look for daily. It is a great outlook to keep in mind. I also love ‘flora and fauna’ when mentioned….smiles!

  3. I’ve used the life and strength of flowers and weeds growing up through concrete before in my talks to martial arts students. You are stronger than you think, if you believe. I’ve always had somewhat of an affinity for such life. Such determination. We are more powerful than we know. So must our earth be. 🙂 Great post Robin.

    • Our earth needs us to care, but it also has its own ability to force and forge on ahead. I hope and believe we can do it like a team, Colleen.
      Thank you for mentioning how you use this image of “life and strength of flowers and weeds growing up through concrete” in your martial arts talks. It shows all those traits you mentioned. I love determination and also, resiliency. This added so much to the post.

  4. A very moving post, Robin. At one time, the Thames was so polluted, nothing lived in it. But once the earth was “given a chance” to recover, there are now fish, swans and wildlife thriving there. It only took a few decades. This earth was made to cope very nicely indeed with its own natural resources. It is only we humans that make trouble for it. It is a beautiful place indeed, and I am so grateful to live here! Having said that, I did have a buddleia tree growing right out of the side of my chimney for three years. It was living in the cracks between the mortar. Honestly. This place has been here 250 years, but if we left it tomorrow, nature would soon take over. Evil me finally had to poison the tree to death. But then, we haven’t left yet! 🙂

    • I don’t think you are evil for killing something which had the potential to break down the mortar between the bricks in your fireplace chimney. You don’t need that to collapse upon your home!
      This was a blessing to read about the Thames, which you mention has become clean enough to support fish, swans and wildlife. Wow!
      We used to have jokes said about Cleveland, Ohio here in the states, where the river could ‘burn’ due to the level of toxins in it. Thank goodness, with some environmentalists helping the factories to stop polluting, along with Earth and nature taking over, the area is much cleaner and there is fish in the river and Lake Erie again! I am grateful to have moved you, M.H.!

  5. I have seen old abandoned roads/highways that have been almost completely taken over by plant life….when you see these old ribbons of concrete and nature is taking them back…you gives you hope that Mother Earth can heal the damage we inflict upon her.

    • Kirt, this is definitely how I have enjoyed exploring areas where homes have been abandoned where nature had made it come alive again, only in a different way from how it was before.
      I do like out of the way places where plant life has made it into a celebration of life and survival. The beams of barns look like cathedral beams and the ivy and flowers make it look like stained glass and so beautiful. You capture this sometimes in your bridges, barns and vintage photos.
      I also appreciate your using the serious tone in the words in your last sentence. We do ‘inflict damage’ upon Mother Earth, we need to try not to do this, Kirt.

  6. I am pleased that you shared Germaine Greer’s words about respecting our environment. Here in the Northwest, which was heavily logged in the old days, the forests have made something of a recovery. Fortunately, there are a few legacy virgin forests left.

    In my lifetime I have seen the establishment of wild areas including the North Cascades National Parks (est. 1968) and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area (est. 1976) and a number of smaller wilderness areas. These mostly mountain preserves protect the most scenic and fragile zones in our state for future generations to enjoy. The grandeur and serenity of these areas is mind boggling. – Mike

    • Mike, you just gave some fantastic examples of places people may wish to travel and see, if not able to, they could look them up!
      I feel this was what I would hope for, the way you mentioned logging stripping the forests, we have been seeing the recovery of them more and more.
      I have heard of Cascades Park, but not sure if it is the same or close location? I will have to look up North Cascades National Park and Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area. We have prairie preserves in Ohio, along with Cedar Bog preserve. I like when an area which is ‘rare’ is kept pristine from the destruction of mankind. The iceberg which left some unique plants in piles of land called, “eshers” and carnivorous plants in lakes, interest me. I am glad there are naturalists and scientists who try to keep us informed and protective of such interesting places to see. I still have not seen many Western sites, but the great pines in the Upper Peninsula or Michigan, Maine and Canada make me think of Oregon and Washington, Mike. Someday…. smiles!

  7. Engineers have worked hard to clean up one of the most polluted lakes in America right here in Syracuse, Robin. A chemical plant poisoned Onondaga Lake for decades. Now, 25 years after that plant was shut down, the federally-mandated clean-up is complete, fish are robust, and the waters have been declared fit for swimming once more.

    • I am very glad you mentioned this fantastic effort to clean up one of the most polluted lakes in America, Onondaga Lake. Thank you so much, Mark.
      I had started mentioning Lake Erie and the river which I felt some people may have heard caught on fire in Ohio. The pollution was corrected, as your Syracuse disaster lake was corrected, not just by the Earth repairing itself, but as you mentioned:
      It took hard work, environmentalists, money, engineers, companies/factories being ‘fined’ or closed and federal mandated laws.
      It took 25 years in Syracuse. Wow!
      Mark, I am not sure when Lake Erie and the Cuyahoga River got straightened out, time-wise, but it is in a much better place now. Sending you smiles and loved your photo shoot, with dog and Karen included of the Onondaga Lake day.

  8. The bald eagles have returned to the James River in Virginia which is just huge progress. At one time in the seventies there was ONE, Robin, just one. Now we have dozens of pairs happily protecting their territories there. Nature is incredible.

    • Oh, so glad you let us know this about the precious bald eagles returning to James River in Virginia! That is pitiful to have only one there and so glad you have dozens of pairs. I like how you describe them ‘happily protecting their territories there.’
      Nature is indeed ‘incredible. and beautiful, Barb.
      By the way, did you see your name/bloh plugged in my May post? There is an upcoming National Tortoise or Turtle Rescue Day and I added your blog in there…. mentioning visiting to see your husband and your air transportation service, too. It was a short notice… Smiles!

      • No, I didn’t see it, Robin. I will look. I’ve been traveling and sort of incommunicado for the past couple weeks. You are so sweet to remember us and our turtle adventures.

      • I picture you incommunicado, with large, dark sunglasses, a big hat and something out of character for clothes… ha ha! I don’t mind if people do what I do, live life and sometimes pop into check on people’s lives and blogs.
        It is only part of our life, Barb! Have you listened to Ed Sheeran’s song, “Thinking Out Loud?” It is so soulful that this young red haired man, who gives me goosebumps as he sings, is not how his voice makes you picture him. Is that a convoluted sentence or what? Smiles and enjoy your escape and no pressure to visit. We are friends. Period.

  9. Makes me think how sometimes, what might feel like a natural disaster for us humans is earth’s way of breathing or reshaping herself or even destroying so the new can grow.

    • This is a great way to look at this, since I am very sad due to the avalanche and the earthquake disasters. I also wonder if this is just the way the Earth includes cycles. I do have those areas in my thoughts and prayers, Diahann.

  10. Greer rightly highlights the destruction that man wreaks on the earth, nature does respond in various ways, natural disasters that create a new beginning, floods that replenish the lands, earthquakes that reconfigure the lands. No matter what mankind does on this earth, Mother nature always wins out in the end.
    Thankfully Mother Nature has more knowledge and power than Mankind.

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