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Madagascar_Maroantsetra

Genesis 1:
28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
29 And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:
30 And to all the beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.
31 And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.  
4

On April 15 of last year an accidental fire destroyed much of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The world reacted immediately. Donations came from across the globe. Hundreds of millions were promised by France's tycoons. Whatever happened with those promises I don't know, nor do I care. Not important compared to the deliberate burning down of cathedrals nature built.  5

This picture was taken by Rhett Butler, who founded Mongabay.com in 1999. It is a nonprofit environmental science and conservation news platform especially devoted to the conservation of forests, wildlife, and oceans. The image is of a rainforest on Madagascar, an island about 400 km off the coast of East Africa. I, too, have been in a rainforest, with my wife, over half a century ago, on Canada's Vancouver Island. It was an experience that never left us. And some ten years before that, all by myself when I stepped off the road to Port Alberni, at most a 100 yards, overwhelmed, looking up Douglas firs that may have been some 800 years old. That experience was soon overtaken by work I needed to attend to for making a living.  6

Epiphany: a sudden, intuitive perception of, or insight into the reality, or essential meaning of something. I looked it up, just to be sure. Had to. I am an old fogey, remember?  7

An internet friend—name an author of substance and this peripathetic philosopher has read it—drew my attention to "Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine" by Alan Lightman. On a clear and silent night, Lightman, a phycisist at MIT, was laying on his back gazing at the stars and overcome by a powerful sense of eternity. Reading this brought me back to my own experiences, not only in a rainforest, but also when standing on a high hill, alone, looking down upon Greenland's Ilulissat Icefjord.  8

There was no sound other than of the cracking of ice and, if I remember it well, of a calving by which another iceberg went off to sea. Like the one that sank the RMS Titanic, on April 15, 1912, 107 years to the day before some spark ignited timber of the Notre Dame Cathedral.  9

Elisabeth and I, we saw trees whose trunks had grown so wide that they began to grow in part from trees that had fallen alongside them, hundreds of years ago. Branches fed mosses and curtains of gauzeous growth as well as worms and insects and, presumably, animals that had hid or fled by our approach. Our hereafter became clear as a bell: decaying bodies, food for life to come.  10

Lords of the flies ...  11

Genesis 3:
19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.  12



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