Music for a Warming World – A Reflection

Music for a Warming World – A Reflection

Preparing to host this musical took many months. Gestation of a wonderful creation always does. A team of committed MUC Social Justice workers and generous volunteers took up the challenge and 113 people of all ages were welcomed to participate in a dynamic event, spear-headed by Simon Kerr and supported by his very able multi-talented musicians on guitar, violin and harp.

The stage-presence of performers was both professional and relaxed, one-with-us, yet disarmingly confrontive (even with hints of humor) as we engaged with the unfolding grave climate story through song, music, word and stunning visuals. Did we know it was Earth Day two days later, a day world-wide, that celebrates the exquisite beauty of our planet? Mysterious timing!

Simon’s words inspired and challenged. Climate change is happening so rapidly that it is claimed around the world as an emergency of the highest order. We must prepare ourselves for what is to come; we must be ready to adapt when nature unleashes her righteous indignation in protests of in-balance, her dismay at our foolhardiness, greed and the audacity of our arrogance. We have wrought destruction upon ourselves in countless ways. We saw evidence of it on the screen, heard it in the plaintive truth and power of music and song, felt it in our bones.
Graphics of Giant Redwoods lifted our spirits, coming to our aid through Simon’s disarming passion, his awe and wonder at the magnificence of such ‘beings,’ as he stood beneath their towering height and grandeur. I felt moved by his deeply-felt oneness and empathy, expressed with profound gratitude for such noble trees. Here was an answer to our trembling, to our terror; the natural world’s grace and wisdom, its unfailing generosity and creativity willing to sustain us if we would give it a chance.

The beauty and strength, yet vulnerability of the trees was a pivotal moment in the evening for me and maybe for other hearts in the audience. Why was this important, what was its message? I heard a truth in Simon’s voice, a poignant yearning for the world to fall to its knees before such ancient, awesome mentors. Digging these ‘beings’ from the ground, I thought, was not only belittling and disrespectful, it was down-right outrageous! “Leave them in the ground!” Simon’s words rang in rebellion, in repetition that resounded through the auditorium.

We were urged to contemplate our kinship with creation. Imagining and feeling the ‘tree-ness’ of trees, re-creates, restores and empowers us; it endows us with courage to care, to protect and nurture what is vulnerable and life- enhancing. Something indispensable. Kinship with the natural world and knowing our dependence upon it lies at the heart of “being prepared, of our adaptation and challenge to live with uncertainty.”

I sat thinking about the transformation in human consciousness that is urgent, yet foreign to so many. Will we come to our senses and know that we are a link in all of life, an important link, but simply a link in the web; that we are stewards, not masters, that what we do to the earth, we do to ourselves?

‘Music for a Warming World’ offered us the potential to be challenged and charmed with its wisdom, with its declarations of fearless truth and robust understanding. The performers’ courage was undeniable and inspirational; it was as powerful in its intimacy as it was expansive. It was both a personal and communal call to affirm the joy and hope that is grounded in community, in togetherness, in the sharing of our struggles and triumphs, in supporting each other to be ‘more human,’ in recognizing and affirming our innate connection with and responsibility for a beautiful, heating and suffering planet.

Technology will play its part as we wrestle with the reality of a changing climate but let us return to the trees and love them; let us too, stand and reflect and marvel in awe, for they will tell us more, more about ourselves and our personal call to respond and to act. Love will find a way; perhaps it’s our truest renewable energy!