Saturday, May 14, 2016

Canada's on Fire

Canada's on Fire
It's not even summer yet and already the whole country is ablaze with forest fires. It would be easy to make flippant remarks about it if it weren't so serious, or to give all sorts of opinions and irrelevant advice. But this is no joking matter. Canada's on fire - again! Oh, I know there's going to be a lot of conspiracy theorists spinning tales about the tar sands, global warming, job creation and all sorts of other arguments. They might even blame the NDP for the Fort McMurray fire. It would never occur to anyone to consider that the world is a living organism, doing what it does for it's own survival. The forests need to be cleared, renewed and the soil re-energized. When you look at it that way, it's not so surprising is it? It's just good housekeeping. You'd do the same thing at your house wouldn't you?
Well that's how the world works. It just so happens that we humans are in the way and when the world is doing its housecleaning, it becomes a disaster for us. Well HELLO! Maybe we should help with the chores. I read somewhere that the First Nations people used to do that as a matter of routine. They'd do controlled burns of forests and grasslands at specific times of the year to clear and renew the vegetation and the soil, thus achieving two things with one stroke: that being reforestation and re-growth as well as drawing the animals back to that very new growth. And of course they could then predict the location of the herds they were hunting, saving on travel time and distance. Talk about your efficiency.
I'm sure the First Nations weren't perfect in their housekeeping either but you can bet your bottom dollar that they didn't do any of this kind of burning in the heat of the spring or summer either. No, as they say, there is a time for everything and they knew when to do it in concert with the game they hunted not being there when it happened. It was like a well-balanced movement between mother earth, the game animals and the forest floor in perfect synch with each other. It's a perfectly choreographed dance that occurs, thus harmonizing a balance that benefits everyone.
I'd be the last one to give advice, especially at this critical time, but maybe once this fire is out, we should be asking the Elders of the First Nations about such practices. They might still remember how and when it was done. Certainly it's worth a try. At least that's how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.
Just sayin'.

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