I've been thinking a bit how to frame this post. I wanted it to be moving, important and awash with pithy images that would make my readers swarm over to sign the petition to preserve the Ruahines mountains in New Zealand from the onslaught of what promises to be a great many monster-sized wind turbines. I'm not sure I'm up to that though, so I'll settle for showing you a few beautiful pictures of a place very dear to Robb Kloss's heart, a place where he has found solace, a spiritual home, and a place to introduce his young sons to the joys of outdoor life and mountain air. Reading his blog, Musings from Aotearoa, I and a growing number of readers have seen just how much he cherishes this part of the natural world, so much so that he has chosen these mountains to live beside, rather than his birthplace in America.
It's a big step to change countries. As any immigrant can tell you it takes years to feel at home in the new skin that you grow when you change cultures. For some of us it never happens, we can only reach some place of partial acceptance; while we may appreciate many things about the new place, including the opportunity to earn a living there, we will never feel quite as comfortable as we might. That's not always a bad thing of course because there's more to learn with a little less comfort. It's a motivator.
Still, finding comfort and sustenance in a place is more than speaking the language, learning the customs or eating the food. When it means finding a place where the country wraps around you like a green dream, where you find free-moving animals, birds and insects, where the air flows unimpeded and the water is still fresh and free, we take notice. We feel the sense of rightness and home. And we feel protective of that, in a world where such spaces are becoming rarer every day.
Not taking notice of how precious these spaces are has become a modern disease. Propping up development willy-nilly in the name of creating jobs has become a bad habit. We need to open our eyes and take care what we are doing. Sure we need alternative energy. But we also need to create good plans for deploying it in places which are not wild, where we will not further push back the green frontiers.
Just look. Do we really want towering wind turbines in this landscape?
Please join with me in signing Robb's petition to preserve the Ruahines.
All pictures courtesy of Robb Kloss.