Remember, reflect, respect
Remember, reflect, respect
In an earlier post, we were inviting readers to create their own event as part of the Remembrance of Lost Species Day (RDLS) on 30th November. Since then, England has gone back into lockdown, while Scotland’s Tier system is preventing gatherings in many places and Wales and Ireland are still maintaining distancing. It has become clear that most of us will not be in a position to gather even outdoors in small numbers for this year’s RDLS while people are still interested in doing something!
So here follow a few suggestions for solitary or spaced activities
A bit of background
Remembrance Day for Lost Species, November 30th, is a chance each year to explore the stories of extinct and critically endangered species, cultures, lifeways, and ecological communities.
Whilst emphasising that these losses are rooted in violent and discriminatory governing practices, the day provides an opportunity for participants to make or renew commitments to all who remain, and to develop creative and practical solutions.
Remembrance Day for Lost Species honours diverse experiences and practices associated with enduring and witnessing the loss of cultural and biological diversity. (from the RDLS website)
So what could we do?
If we are working as individuals, rather than looking at the depressingly long list of lost species, start with one, a single species. This might be a species (plant or animal) that has become extinct or perhaps one that is on the edge of being lost.
Give yourself time to think: read a bit, search a little, find out more. Then design a special occasion for yourself: write a few words (or find a few, or modify someone else’s words): you might write a eulogy for your species, a prayer to your species, a prayer for your species or just a paragraph of communing with your species.
Words: describe your species: appearance, behaviour, home; remember its story, describe how this makes you feel. Think about what you could do to help either this species or its struggling cousins. If it suits your nature, make a pledge for something you will do before RDLS 2021.
Setting targets: be realistic! You might aim to:
join an organisation
talk to people
change your shopping habits
help plant trees or flowers
put up a bee-box, dig a pond, clean a beach
find an action that is a challenge but not an impossible one.
Make the moment special: again if it suits you, turn the whole event into a small ceremony. At home, light a candle perhaps, and use that as a meditation focus while you recite your words. Outdoors, perhaps have a bundle of stones and for each line of your words add a stone to a shape: build a circle, a spiral, a cross. Or do all of that without words. How you do this and what you do is up to you: how do you yourself make a moment special to yourself
A bit more visual? Look at the work of the Loving Earth Project: why not make your own Lost Species flag or painting to display? Or paint a Lost Species rock to leave somewhere as part of the Friendship or Kindness Rocks movement
Involving others: using painted rocks or stone patterns is a great way of sharing the moment with friends. Take it in turns to add stones (or leaves, or twigs, or shells) to a shape on the ground. It would be good to see the shape grow even if you have to do this separately. Maybe people could film their additions. Gather all your words together afterwards. Have a group video call, reading your words and recording them? Edit everyone’s films and watch the whole mandala take shape.
Please share your plans, words, or results with us!