While I have always admired Dr. Jane Goodall for being a pioneering woman scientist, I never realized what a profound connection I have to her. While I find chimpanzees fascinating, it is the aquatic creatures of the earth that have always captivated me. But after my own spiritual awakening, re-listening and reading "Reason for Hope" has made me realize that I am to carry on Dr. Jane's work. I am going to write, like Rachel Carson, mainly about the ocean and its amazing inhabitants. But I know someday I will have to break out of comfort zone to speak out about the perils befalling our natural world. I have Dr. Jane's passion, compassion, love of animals and nature, and like her, I am a spiritual naturalist first and a scientist second.
I got to hear Dr. Jane speak at the Bioneers conference on October 17, 2010 which was incidentally my daughter's first birthday. Something definitely was "born" in me that day, which is a desire to truly make a difference in the world! At the book signing I told her that her poem, "Only They Can Whisper Songs of Hope" is an inspiration to me, and her book "Reason for Hope" is a bible of sorts for me. I said I'm standing on that Bridge and I have begun to hear the whispers, but I'm mute. Hopefully not for much longer...
Only They Can Whisper Songs of Hope by Dr. Jane Goodall
The World has need of them, those who stand upon
Who know the pain in the singing of a bird
And the beauty beyond a flower dying:
Who have heard the crystal harmony
Within the silence of a snow-peaked mountain-
For who but they can bring life's meaning
To the living dead?
Oh, the world need those standing on the Bridge,
For they know how Eternity reaches to earth
In the wind that brings music to the leaves
Of the forest: in the drops of rain that caress
The sleeping life of the desert: in the sunbeams
Of the first spring day in an alpine meadow.
Only they can blow the dust from the seeing eyes
Of those who are blind.
Yet pity them! those who stand on the Bridge,
For they, having known utter Peace,
Are moved by an ancient compassion
To reach back to those who cry out
From a world which has lost its meaning:
A world where the atom-the clay of the Sculptor-
Is torn apart, in the name of science,
For the destruction of Love.