This morning, I was summoned urgently to our garden by my 6 year old son ... "Mummy, there are lots of little birds in the tree. 4 or even 5. Come and see. Quickly!" Indeed there were a number of little fluffy balls of grey and yellow, and a lot of noisy chirps and chirruping. Our assumption was that a family had fledged their nest. We watched for a good long while as they hopped around our and our neighbours' gardens, flitting from trees to rooftops to feeders, and not sitting still for long enough for me to snap a picture until the late afternoon ....
In the evening, we watched the film 'Albatross' with a friend of ours, in celebration of World Oceans Day yesterday. You can watch the trailer HERE. The film documents the life of the albatross colony on Midway Islands in the Pacific, an environment which looks pristine, but where toxic plastic is killing these amazing seafaring birds in a most sinister manner.
It is an artistic and emotive film, beautifully shot, which seeks to forge an emotional connection between the audience and these graceful giants of the skies. Of course, those of us familiar with Coleridge's poem, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" (1798) see also the metaphor, that as we kill these haunting birds, we bring a curse upon ourselves. Perhaps our collective responsibility for the rubbish which chokes and kills the albatross is a burden we must carry about our necks and carry as penance. Indeed, the film maker, Chris Jordan, hopes the story he portrays will change the way we see everything.
When we see the destruction of the natural world, it seems to me right that we should be moved to grief. This grief is an expression of our love for our beautiful world, for our fellow creatures. At the end of his film, Chris Jordan reflects upon his experience ... "I saw that grief is not the same as sadness or despair. Grief is the same as love. Grief is a felt experience of love for something we are losing or have lost. When we surrender to grief, it carries us home to our deepest connection with life. I didn't know I could care about an albatross."