Monday, June 14, 2010

Reflections on Water...

It was great, yesterday, to be part of the large gathering ("thousands") in a sunny if chilly Cathedral Square protesting against the sacking of ECan and the weakening of Canterbury's water conservation orders. The speakers (a truly representative group) included Brian Turner, poet; Lydia Bradey, climber of Mt Everest; Brian Deans, farmer; Robin Judkins, Director Coast to Coast; Morgan Waru, student and Peter Beck, Dean of the Cathedral. The musicians were Graham Wardrop, Liz Braggins and Ariana Tikao. Everyone spoke and performed from the heart. Brian Turner had me in tears.
Those participating were also pleasingly 'representative'. At first I feared it was going to be mostly a grey-haired brigade (in which I can include Claire and myself!) but in fact there were little children, adolescents, young adults - people with passion. Seagulls wheeled symbolically over the crowd throughout the protest and, at the end, one needed a rest!
The protest ended with the building of a cairn of rocks (the idea created by sculptor Sam Mahon) brought from South Island rivers and handed across the Square by long lines of protestors. The cairn will remain until ECan is reinstated. A powerful symbol and a wonderful way to involve all of us - and warm us up!!

Claire and rock-passing neighbour

In a truly touching gesture, some of the rocks had been inscribed with their places of origin - and they had come from all over the region (well, maybe not? but symbolically powerful)...
For me, being there was not just about Canterbury and dairying and water quality - hugely important though those are to me. It was about the wider issues of care for our environment, of thoughtfulness for the other living things who inhabit that environment, of the guardianship of the land and sea which we, in our position of power, must exercise with humility and a deep understanding of global interconnectedness and fragility. 

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for turning up to represent me there .. great post too .. could not agree more. Clearly this govt does not care about our country .. just the bottom line !!!