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A Vanished Ocean - a Bit of Perspective

gratitude kindness natural world Feb 14, 2011

"Being thoughtful about our Earth."

I’ve just finished reading a remarkable book: “Vanished Ocean: How Tethys Reshaped the World” by Dorrik Stow. On the back cover was the enticement to read it from cover to cover: “A hundred million years ago, a mighty ocean stretched across four-fifths of the Earth; an ocean that teemed with life but also experienced devastating extinctions. It broke up and finally vanished five and a half million years ago, leaving clues of it’s former grandeur in rocks, fossils, and the precious gift of oil. It was called Tethys, and this is it’s story.”

How do I describe reading this life-changing book? It is the history of our Earth, and the influence that the Tethys Ocean, greater than the mighty Pacific Ocean, had on the shaping and re-shaping of our world over millions of years, millions of years before our time.

As I slowly closed the book after reading the last page, I reflected on my relationship with our Earth. Is it respectful? Is it loving? Is it in awe? No, it is simply kind, keeping her in mind whatever I do because she is my home. The Earth is where I live.

In one of those strange coincidences that give life spice, my desk calendar’s saying for that day was: “If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one’s entire life, perhaps it would be thoughtfulness.” Confucius.

My interpretation of his "thoughtful" is kindness. Yes, being kind to my home in the universe is what works for me:-) And as a mark of my deepest respect for my home, I have given the book to our son to read. It will give him the immense perspective that he is looking for to be a kind care-taker of the bushland that he and his wife are bringing back to life.


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