Note Eight

The Brazilian Amazon,
South America.
December 2019

Cloaked in morning fog, sitting atop what must be a close to 600-year-old Brazilian nut tree, feeling like an agouti (a large rodent – apparently the only other one capable of cracking open its cases) as I nibble on some fresh nuts, I am forced to admit, rather expectedly, that:

The Amazon is a place of marvels.

And a profusion of interdependencies. Quite like the world. And a wild one at that!

Trees are never just trees. They are entire ecosystems. Trunks decorated with vines, lichens and moss. Tiny ferns strewn all over. Termites snaking their way around, up and down. Nymphs protruding out of nowhere. Delicate fungi doing some very indelicate feeding.

The Sun pours in and the crowns of a hundred different trees glisten in shades of green; in every colour known to our palettes, in fact – parrots, toucans, macaws, vultures, eagles assessing the morning one minute and me in the next. “Who is this human nestled in our home?”, they seem to ask, one eyebrow…err…feather raised.
In those lonely minutes at dawn, the burden of that question suddenly makes me too heavy for the branch I’m perched on.
If I fall, I’ll be taking one for humanity.
We’ve always been in their homes. We’ve driven them out and then we wonder why they stare – fury masking their helpless gaze.

20% of Amazonia has been lost to logging, mining and agriculture. If this is Western Europe, an area the size of France no longer exists.
I’m aghast.

A quarter of the world’s species – both flora and fauna – are Amazonian.
I’m agape.

Everywhere I look I am stunned by its wealth. Every time I look I am shocked by our treatment of it.



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