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This is a blog I should have gotten to a few days ago, but, well, deadlines loomed and there is the ongoing Gatsby Kitten Watch (check for updates here). The thing is, it is Earth Week, and, while Dragons, being more attuned to their own long count (which would wow even the Maya), have little use for our random calendar events, they are attuned to the planet. If any creatures should be included/consulted/exalted during Earth Week—and any week for that matter—it’s Dragons.

European Green - Howard D. Johnson

Dragons are elemental. They summon the rains and breathe volcanic fire; their talons raise mountains and rake free the earth’s riches; their wings beat whispering breezes into tempests.

Japanese Dragon - Hokusai

They have been around since time immemorial, never once losing their ties to the world’s energy that courses through us all (whether we know it or not). On a practical level, they dance along the delicate balance of the land, living within its constantly shifting extremes of bounty and privation. Though maligned as avaricious hoarders, the truth is, Dragons take no more than they need. They know that over fishing, over hunting makes for fat, slow Dragons and hardship for the hatchlings in the new year. And, despite their calid breath and massive size, their carbon footprint is negligible.

Perhaps the greatest draconic lesson is that we are all tenants on the land, caretakers at best. Regardless of size or might or (seeming) intelligence, the world is not ours to do with as we wish. There are consequences to everything: to strip mining and clear cutting, to exploring the skies on metal wings and using the seas as trash cans. Greed is not good, it is deadly, for, as Thoreau said, “What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?” This is Dragon essence from which we could all learn a thing or two. 

So, this Earth Week, perhaps we should get our heads out of our political butts and look around. Remember we’re just visiting this ball of dust, and our children and the children of every other living creature shall inherit the state in which we leave it. Time to do more than give campaign lip service to future generations: time to leave them a planet on which all—even Dragons—can live.

Let us but strive to stay connected. For the more we lose touch with the wilderness and the damage we’ve done to the world, the more we need Dragons to remind us of our place in the natural order of things and the responsibility we owe to each other and the planet.

I wish you all a verdant Earth Week. And, if nothing else, I hope you plant a seed and take a Dragon to lunch.

p.s. an addendum, with my thanks, courtesy of of Niamh Clune: http://youtu.be/j-wwuHOvAOA . Makes me wish I was more musical….