was March 31, 2002. It was just as beautiful outdoors as it had been
last week, but way too hot for the season. Mark checked the thermometer
in the window of his bedroom: 30 degrees Celsius! Who would have thought
of weather like this, in Spring, and in the Atlantic provinces! What
could a person do to cool off? The swimming pools certainly weren't
open. Mark decided to spend some time in one of his favourite places:
went down the stairs slowly, and headed, as usual, to his grandfather's
big soft chair, to read a good book. It was cool downstairs and Mark
was so comfortable he soon fell asleep, all curled up in the old chair,
coloured in an aboriginal motif. Awakening some time later, Mark noticed
that, while he was sleeping, his chair had moved into an almost reclining
position. Surprised, Mark got up to study this situation. He hadn't
known that his favourite chair could go into that position. He noticed
that the back, without being broken, was lower than usual. Upon closer
inspection, he spied a yellowed book, stuck between the back and the
seat of the chair. Mark tugged at the book to dislodge it.
opened the book, which was handwritten on paper resembling the bark
of a tree. He was very surprised to note that the text was addressed
to him: "Mark, I'm so happy that you have finally found this manuscript…you,
my only descendant! Mark, you are destined to become an Ecosage,
a person whose mission is to rescue the planet from the great heat!
The bunchberry will accompany you in your travels. All in good time,
you will receive more information. Okida."
read and reread the sentences in the book. The writing covered one page
and disappointingly, the other pages were empty. Mark took the book
into his bedroom to consider this situation. The next day, upon questioning
his mother, he learned that his grandfather was of First Nations descent.
He did not mention the book. He kept asking himself about the message
written to him. Ecosage…the great heat of the Earth…what was
this all about?
had heard on the news that the Earth was getting warmer in certain regions
and it was cooling off in other spots. Was this the phenomenon that
his grandfather was talking to him about? He remembered the bunchberry
and took off to the woods to find a good specimen.
to his room, he opened the old book again and gently laid the bunchberry
between two pages. To his great surprise, words began to appear on the
formerly empty pages. We, the First Nations, were very attached to Mother
Earth. We could feel the Earth and protect her, and, in return, she
protected us and gave us the things we needed in order to live. We lived
in harmony with Nature. Modern life has separated people from Nature.
The First Nations have practically disappeared from the planet and our
numbers are too few to protect the Earth. We need help and it is now
up to a new race of humans to make their contribution. You are a part
of this race called Ecosage. Mark you are an Ecosage.
You have the wisdom, the sense of observation, the intelligence and
the heart to succeed…Take the time to get more acquainted with the Earth
and you will understand what you need to do…" And then, there was no
more writing on the following pages.
who, of course, wanted to know more, decided to go sit in the woods
nearby, to think. His mother had taught him how to connect nature. He
was to sit quietly in nature, in his own special place (near a particular
tree, a river or a big rock), to trust his heart, and to let all his
feelings, impressions and thoughts rise up in himself. This is just
what he did, surrounded by a little island of bunchberry, near a giant
pine tree planted long ago by his grandfather. In a short time, his
attention was attracted to some nearby Labrador Tea, a spring plant,
which had bloomed earlier than usual this year. The tea leaves were
yellowish and drier than normal. The bunchberry was also dry and seemed
to be suffering from some unknown illness. The soil didn't have its
usual humid smell. He felt a sudden heat coming from the Earth and then
he felt the pain and the stress that Mother Nature had been experiencing
in recent years. Things were not as they had been and living things
did not know how to adapt to these sudden changes. The air felt heavy
and he felt bad. He got up and headed for home.
several days, he thought about his experience and what he'd felt in
the woods. He had been affected by the distress of the Earth and he
didn't know what he could do to help it. On top of this, his grandfather's
book obstinately refused to give him new information. Finally, he shared
his adventure with his friend Melissa, who always dressed in the same
colours as the bunchberry. Melissa, the scientist, explained things
to him in her own way: "It's very simple Mark! The Earth is like my
mother. She's in menopause! She is having hot flashes! Her menopause
is very difficult because the poor Earth has been badly treated these
last few hundred years: bombarded with carbon dioxide (CO2), with methane
(CH4) and other gases. If we don't look after the Earth, she will feel
even worse and she might even gradually die. But, we can do things…how
would you feel about helping her to rest for a while?
smiled at Melissa. He now understood his mission as an Ecosage.
The two friends began looking for solutions to help the Earth: the Ecosage
circle was born. That very day, new words appeared in his grandfather's
book. It was the Charter of the Ecosage circle. It read: " An
Ecosage commits to protect the Earth's climatic balance and to
HER, dedicates, his or her heart, head and sense of observation. He
or she collaborates with Mother Nature and with the other members of
his or her community. He or she speaks with the heart, respects differences
and is open to new ideas. An Ecosage acts and shows persistence."
you too are an Ecosage but have yet to discover this…Perhaps
you have ideas about how to help the Earth rest…Perhaps you are ready
to act, with others….