Tyranny and the Oak

Yesterday when I came home from work and walked through my door, I nearly burst into tears. Only days after agreeing on climate change policies in Paris, the UK government approved fracking under our national parks. Yes, protected areas of natural beauty and wilderness are now open to being fracked, so long as it is started just outside the park boundary. What’s worse, and which isn’t being talked about so much, is that the government has a veto power to override any area that has said “no” to fracking. Standing in the porch, despair just settled in, as it doesn’t seem to matter what we do, what we say, or how we live our lives. Those in power who are trying to line their own pockets and those of their constituents will do what they like, regardless. What’s the point?

Later that evening, as I lay in bed, unable to sleep, I tried to look beyond the despair, to see the situation from another perspective. As a Druid, I considered where I take my inspiration, where my soul finds sustenance, where that deep relationship happens that enables me to carry on, day after day. Where does the Druid get inspiration from? The Druid’s authority is nature. Not the government, not humanity, but nature. Looking deeply into the natural world, we can see how we can be in the world, continuing in our quest to live with honour and integrity, to the best of our abilities.

I thought of the oak tree. Druid; dru, meaning oak, and wid, meaning wisdom. The wisdom of the oak. What was the wisdom of the oak that could help lift me out of this despair, to continue to live in a tyrannical country where the people’s voices are not heard?

The oak tree grows, from a little acorn, into the best tree that it can dependent upon the conditions of its environment. Whether the soil is poor or good, the weather favourable or not, the tree will grow to the best of its ability, fulfilling its potential as an oak tree, singing its song clearly. Sometimes the conditions are perfect; sometimes they lead to the demise of the tree but still the tree carries on as best it can. One of two oak trees that I love split in half a couple of years ago in a wind storm, and yet it still carries on, the fallen half only half alive, the other half continuing as if nothing had changed. It knows its purpose as an oak tree, to grow, to live, to be in its environment. There are several old oaks trees around here that have suffered greatly from past storms, old age and more. But still they carry on. They inspire me.

Yes, someone could cut them down tomorrow. That does not mean that they will not be the best oak trees they can be right now. That does not mean that they will not produce acorns in the fall, or drop their leaves to sustain them through winter and spring. It does not mean that they will not provide food and shelter for those living near them. The wisdom of the oak.

I will continue to do what I can. I will continue to give, to care, to follow my Druid’s inspiration, the wisdom of the oak. Even if I break, even if I fall, still the dru wid will carry me. I will continue to live my live utterly dedicated to my gods, the ancestors, and the natural world. I will continue to seek deep integration with the land, and let the example of how I live my life to be my song sung into the winter’s night, filled with gratitude and reverence. I will continue to see the many blessings, and work against those seek to use nature only as a resource, fulfilling their greedy and empty lives with the hollow intake of cash. The oak tree will whisper its wisdom, to carry on, to grow, wherever you have taken root, wherever life takes you, whatever condition you find yourself in. And if you do this, you do not fail, you cannot fail, for you have found the meaning of life.

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10 thoughts on “Tyranny and the Oak

  1. Thanks Joanna….I too am tempted to fall into despair but, like you, know that I must carry on being true to myself and all that I share connection with.

    What is so desperately sad, apart from the obvious and experienced dangers, is the short – sightedness of it all! Wind, solar, tidal energy are not being utilised nearly enough…why doesn’t the majority of new houses and factory roofs have pv panels for instance? Nor should we forget the need to be more energy efficient.

    Let’s hope the Green Party can highlight what has happened.

    We get our energy via the Co-Op and this allows us to choose our so-called energy mix….we ask for 100% renewable when it comes to electricity but we can’t choose the source of our gas….but we do what we can.

    John

    • Indeed – the short-sightedness is astonishing, but I can see how for people who aren’t thinking of how they are connected to the natural, to the planet, or who are just too greedy can ignore all the altnernatives that are out there, because they haven’t invested in them. It’s so sad, so hollow, so transparenent. All my savings are invested in renewables, our solar panels did very well this year, and even though every night i have to face a neighbour whose gone nuts with their Christmas lights despite the need for everyone to be more energy efficient, still I carry on, doing all that I can. x

  2. Thanks Joanna,
    The wisdom of the oak. Sometimes we have to step back and ask, what? And sometimes there is no where else to go, but to the oak or toad or badger. It’s all really quite unbelievable. Thanks again for a lovely post. Thanks for reminding me. I’m making sometime today to seek wisdom. It’s a bewildering world and I need to gain my balance. Sorry about the fracking. It is horrid. Stuffing themselves by pulling out the bowels of our mother. Use less. Useless.
    We met a couple and their young family trying desperately to escape the fracking scene in Pennsylvania, the noise, the trucks the pollution. They were scared and seeking refuge away from their home seeking a new place to build their lives. I don’t know what happened with them but I hope they got away. We can only try to do our best and show others. X,o Yvette

    • That’s so sad – it’s incomprehensible how politicians don’t understand that soon there will be nowhere “else” to go, that this is the only planet that we have. Only when it arrives on their doorstep will they change their minds, and by then it will be too late. It’s so obvious, so frustratingly obvious, but to those who just want to make money regardless of the impact they have on others, it doesn’t matter. It’s a sickness. My only hope is that it can be treated… x

  3. I too was very distressed to hear this Joanna. They frequently change the rules when a vote goes against them, eroding democracy. At an exoteric level, It is certainly not the way to go. At an esoteric level, it shows absolute contempt for the planet, poisoning her waters and grossly pillaging what they want, no sensitivity to the subtle aspects of our planet. This is not the way to heal The Wasteland.

  4. I’m disappointed and disheartened by the government’s decision but not shocked. They’ve been heading in this direction since they were ‘elected’ in May. Earlier this year an exploratory well was dug on a farm just outside my little town on the Humber. Luckily they found it unsuitable for fracking or conventional extraction, as we all said they would. The general consensus in our community was that if Quadrilla tried to start extracting we’d deal with it the same way we dealt with the company that wanted to dump nuclear waste on us a decade ago. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that, thanks to the government believing local communities aren’t responsible enough to make these decisions, our protests would be ignored, unlike last time.

    If I were a vindictive person I’d say I hope a fracking well tunnels under David Cameron’s house and the building subsides, George Osbourne gets flooded out and the rest of the cabinet have wind fall branches drop on both their main and second homes and all their cars. But I’m not, nope, not me, I’d never feel any schadenfreuder at Nature punishing them for their arrogance.

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