For Eliza

My great great grandchildren

ask me in dreams

what did you do while the planet was plundered?

what did you do when the earth was unravelling?

surely you did something

when the seasons started failing?

as the mammals, reptiles, birds were all dying?

what did you do once you knew?

Drew Dellinger wrote this in 2002. The other day Greta Thunberg spoke at the UN, nearly in tears, saying almost exactly this (except that she was speaking now, not in two generations time): ‘what are you doing, now that you know?’ and ‘you have stolen my childhood’.

I feel haunted by the earth’s condition and the future of our children, and by the need to respond. Greta refers a lot to science, and it has an important part to play, but I feel that the deep change needed will come (is already coming) from a different way of knowing. I don’t believe that the mind can fathom the way forward, it has to come from a different organ of perception, the heart.

Like many others I feel helpless and yet charged to play my part. We live in a world of information and we ‘can’t stop talking’. In response, as a wordsmith, I feel drawn to listen with my inner ear, to distill beauty, and to recognise words that come from the heart and carry wisdom (transmission).

Eliza, I see your clear eyes. How do I answer you. Together we nurse the tree you found oozing sap where a branch was cut, we speak with flowers, and greet the moon at the window at night. As much as taking outer action towards a more beautiful world, I hope also to embody inner devotion and listening within the community of all life on earth. Both are needed.

I love you with all my heart’s love.


Julia Casciola ©