Shifting realities

October 11, 2007

I find it amazing that no matter how certain we are of things, not only are things susceptible to change, they can change in an instant. We can be looking right into the eyes of an issue, convinced of its reality. Then, with the subtlest shift of thinking or of events, it appears in a new light.


Graphically, this was demonstrated this week as I was photographing the bracken ferns that grow low to the ground in the area next to the storm deck known as “the wind grove”, the property’s namesake. In a matter of seconds, as a brief sun shower swept through and even as the tree’s shadows remained discernible, the light from the setting sun bouncing off the ferns shifted from golden to silvery. A whole new world appeared in a flash, as beautiful and as enchanting as what came before. Who would have thought these two worlds existed so close to each other?

When things are going well, we might fear that the shit will soon enough hit the fan. True enough. But the situation is just as often the reverse: when things are at their darkest, something or someone can appear to give us hope.

This happened in Australia last week when the federal minister for the environment (actually, minister against the environment) gave his approval for the southern hemisphere’s largest pulp mill to be built in Tasmania. It was a dark hour indeed and many of us felt understandably depressed. Yet within the day, the major newspapers and some highly influential CEO’s and other individuals came from behind their self imposed walls of silence and began speaking out against the political hypocrisy and economic stupidity of this project.

Daily now, the ranks of opposition are swelling and, where last week I must admit to feeling the debate had been lost, today hope is showering down in a mixture of golden and silvery light.

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