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Lions Roar : March 2016
crescent moon. Clea’s in a place of peace. It’s not the nervous, more-is-better place that fuels overconsumption and creates the divide between ourselves and the rest of nature. Clea is nature. Or, rather, she has yet to find out she’s not. But she’s learning. The Skype screen is forever blue, even when the sky is not. Mommy and Daddy bank online and press buttons on the town’s first ATM, newly installed. They text and call and chat. Though they own no car, they do usher baby into bush taxis where she feels the power of what she calls the “vroom-vroom.” At what point does a clever little primate like Clea sense something central to the rift between humans and the rest of nature? It’s this: She learns that the important information— the information related to our survival and our interconnec- tion—comes from laptops, from cell towers, from satellites. What she may still feel viscerally, as a baby animal, to be impor- tant—the rustle of a ferret in the heather, the splash of wawa, the medicinal plants she picks—are beautiful, and at times use- ful, but peripheral. Our shelter, clothing, and food come from money we receive in exchange for brainwork. Our interconnec- tion comes in large part from the Internet and phone. Each moment in which we do not depend upon nature for our livelihood, pleasure, and interrelation, we depreciate it in our children’s senses. This wrenches my heart. It’s as if I’m saying through my actions: Thank you, Clea, for noticing that hawk, but we don’t need to read its signs. Thank you for squeal- ing with pleasure when you hear the brook, but wawa gets piped into the house. Thank you for noticing the full moon, but GPS guides us. Thank you for the pleasure you get the first time you walk all the way into the pueblo by yourself, proudly hold- ing Daddy’s hand, but the petroleum-powered vroom-vrooms, not your musculature, will take you life’s distances. Thank you, Clea Luz, for your mammalian instincts, but you won’t be needing them. Thank you for your creaturehood, but you are a consumer. Your name is merely poetic; don’t lean on nature. ➢ page 80 We sometimes use the Buddhist practice of telling Clea “We call this a tree,” instead of “This is a tree.” From the top: Clea Luz and her mother Melissa Draper on a remote mesa top covered in potato fields and wildflowers. Clea communes with the Buddha in a neighbor’s garden. William and Clea on their way to Amboró National Park, a vast expanse of uncharted nature bordering the town of Samaipata. PHOTOSBYMELISSACRANEPOWERSPHOTOBYWILLIAMPOWERS LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2016 53